herald

Monday 11 December 2017

Brother and sister found dead at home

The house where a brother and sister were found dead. Photo:Andrew Downes
The house where a brother and sister were found dead. Photo:Andrew Downes

A brother and sister have been found dead in their Galway home.

The deceased, named locally as Gavin Ridgard and Tricia Kerr, who were both in their 50s were discovered in their home at John Coogan Park in the Newcastle area of the city at around lunchtime yesterday.

The deaths are the second tragedy to hit the family of late. Mr Ridgard's daughter Gemma died suddenly in the house last April.

The alarm was raised yesterday after the pair had not been seen for some time.

A city council tradesman who was in the area helped concerned locals to gain entry to the local authority house.

They found Ms Ridgard collapsed in her downstairs bedroom with her brother in the kitchen. Both were dead.

Gardai rushed to the scene and the house was sealed off for a technical examination.

At around 3pm the bodies of both deceased where brought to University Hospital Galway where a post mortem was carried out.

The deaths are not being treated as suspicious. Gardai are now looking at all possible causes for the tragedy.

While one avenue being explored is the possibility of carbon monoxide poisoning, it is understood Ms Ridgard's dog was found alive in the house.

Locals recalled the pair as quiet neighbours who kept to themselves. Originally from the UK, they had lived in Galway for some time.

Next-door neighbour Mary McDonagh, who was among those who found the pair, said they had been lovely neighbours.

"She would often be out walking her little dog. She was a lovely woman, very quiet. She couldn't walk far because her legs weren't good.

"She wasn't in good health and she had recently gotten over cancer," she said.

Thomas McDonagh said he knew the family growing up.

"They were private people, they never bothered anyone. Tricia was in remission and she was doing well," he said.

"It'll be very hard for the rest of their family. They just buried their niece and now they have a sister and brother to bury."

hnews@herald.ie

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