herald

Sunday 17 December 2017

Brothers died at popular tourist site, say gardai

TRAGIC brothers Eoghan and Ruairi Chada are believed to have died at one of Mayo's main tourist sites.

The famous Ballintubber Abbey, seven kilometres from Castlebar, was last night sealed off by forensic experts.

Detectives are now confident that they have established the route taken by the boy's father Sanjeev after he left their home in Ballinkillen, Co Carlow, on Monday evening.

It is believed that he slept overnight in his Ford Focus car with the boys on the outskirts of Castlebar.

The boys are thought to have been strangled to death around six hours before Mr Chada's car smashed into a wall near Westport.

Ballintubber Abbey is seen as a sacred place that is regularly visited by pilgrims.

The Abbey is one mile off the main Castlebar to Galway route and around 270km from the boys' home.

Almost 800 years old, the religious site was established by Cathal O'Connor in 1216.

WEDDINGS

The ancient pilgrim path meanders from this starting point all the way to Croagh Patrick.

It is also a popular venue for weddings, particularly with celebrities – actor Pierce Brosnan married Keely Shaye Smith there, as did singer Shane Filan and Gillian Walsh.

However, the Chada family appear to have no connection with this particular part of Mayo, and there is no indication that the site was of significance for the family.

hnews@herald.ie

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