herald

Monday 21 August 2017

Son quizzed over horror axe murder of his parents

THE son of a couple found murdered with an axe at their home visited his brother's engineering business and handed over a wallet to a member of staff before leaving the scene.

Julian Cuddihy (42) was still being questioned by detectives today about the brutal murders of his elderly parents Jimmy and Kathleen.

They were found with multiple wounds at their home on the outskirts of Carndonagh, Co Donegal, yesterday.

It's understood Julian, a mechanical engineer, left the house shortly after 9am, walked to his brother's engineering business, based at the back of the house, and handed his wallet to one of the workers there saying: "I won't be needing that."

He then called into his brother's office and said goodbye before driving off.

Julian, the youngest of four siblings, was arrested a short time later close to a lake on what's known locally as the mountain road.

Today, the scene at the bungalow remained cordoned off.

The Cuddihys remains were removed late last night to Letterkenny General Hospital for post mortem examinations today.

Their son Julian, described as a 'gifted engineer', was being questioned at Buncrana Garda Station, the main station on the Inishowen peninsula.

He had worked in recent years in both Dublin and England and had been studying more recently at the University of Limerick.

He returned to Carndonagh 10 months ago to attend a wedding celebration for his sister Maureen and decided to stay.

Friends who saw him earlier in the week said he appeared "angry and agitated" which they found odd.

examinations

"Julian is a normally quiet soul, well educated and articulate but he just didn't appear to be himself in recent days," said one friend. It's understood he had been suffering from depression.

The dead man was a much-loved retired school teacher who had become a grinds mentor to hundreds of local children doing both Junior and Leaving Cert exams in recent years.

His wife Kathleen was a retired nurse and paramedic.

Builders who had been at the house shortly after the discovery of the bodies yesterday were left in a state of shock.

"It was horrific," said one of them, "I cannot describe the scene because I just can't.

"The images are in my head and they won't go away."

Local priest Fr George McLaughlin spent some time at the house on the Buncrana Road in the town comforting son James, who found the bodies, and his sister Delila who had to be helped into the house by gardai.

A fourth sibling, Margaret, was making her way home from England last night where she had been visiting friends.

"They were very well-known, the father as a teacher and mother as a nurse and therefore they would have met most people so it gets to everybody," said Fr McLaughlin.

"All we can do is express our sincere condolences and ask people to pray for the family."

hnews@herald.ie

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