A dad found his three young children dead in the family home when he got back from work, according to reports.
Conor, nine, Darragh, seven, and Carla, three, were discovered in a house in the village of Newcastle, south-west of Dublin city, on Friday.
Now it has emerged their father Andrew McGinley made the discovery after finding his wife being treated by paramedics outside the property, reports the Irish Independent .
He found a note on the front door reading: “Don’t go upstairs … call before entering the home in Newcastle, Co Dublin, to discover one of his children downstairs and the other two in an upstairs room.
The newspaper states that the boys had been at school earlier the same day, but their mother was seen in a distressed state in the evening.
An investigation into the tragedy is ongoing.
The An Garda Siochana have been treating the deaths as unexplained
Mr McGinley attended a special mass to grieve with the local community, with priest Father John Gilligan describing the heartbroken dad as “helpless” and “in tears”, the Independent added.
The family are believed to have only moved to the area last year, but the priest said he could “see how much he valued the community support”.
He said: “We were shocked he’d thought to come along but he wanted to thank the community and you could see how much he valued the community’s support.
“He was so helpless. Some of the dads were in tears.
“I’ve been a priest for a long time and I’ve seen some very sad losses but for a community to lose three children, it’s just unbelievable. ”
Another mass was held that afternoon with prayers said for the much-loved youngsters, the (Irish Mirror reports
Siobhan Mhic Gerailt, principal of the school where Conor and Darragh were pupils, attended along with staff from the Happy Feet creche where Carla was enrolled.
“Families are really are struggling, the community, is struggling. I relayed the loss we all felt and made tribute to the families across our community, “Fr Gilligan said.
“Mums and dads gathered round in the carpark after Mass, huddled round, supporting each other.
” During the mass, I asked the children’s principal Siobhan, to say a few words. It’s so sad, she’s preparing to see the boys’ class friends, knowing the boys won’t be there. “
“I asked the community to support each other. All the girls from the Happy Feet créche were here at church to remember Carla.
“They were relaying stories of Carla’s mum bringing her to créche every morning and how happy the little girl was.
“But they were all in bits. The community is rallying round but there’s a huge, dark cloud over us and all we could do was be there for each other but there is no language to express such a loss. “
Mr McGinley shared a heartbreaking photo earlier this week showing him cuddling his three children.
Children’s toys could be seen in the windows of the house.
Women could be seen in tears as they attended the scene, which has been described as “a very quiet street” and popular with young families.
One woman said the small community is in “absolute shock”.
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Councillor for the area Emer Higgins described the events as an “unimaginable tragedy”, going on to describe “a really tight-knit community … and it’s unthinkable that something like this could be happening on our doorstep “.
A Garda incident room has been set up in Clondalkin Garda Station and gardai have appealed for anyone with information to come forward.
A police spokesman said a woman in her s was found at the scene before receiving treatment at Tallaght University Hospital.