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BREAKING NEWS: Murdered couple’s son (42) arrives in court

Gardai bring Julian Cuddihy into court in Ballyshannon. Picture: RTE

Gardai bring Julian Cuddihy into court in Ballyshannon. Picture: RTE

couple cuddihy (1)

BY C.J.MCGINLEY

GARDAI have tonight (Friday) brought the 42-year-old man charged in connection with the murder of his parents in Carndonagh before a local court.

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The couple’s son, Julian, arrived in Ballyshannon District Court shortly afer 9pm. He had a blanket over his head and was wearing a wine coloured hoodie, black tracksuit bottoms and black runners.

He stared at the floor, wringing his hands during the brief hearing.

Det Garda Bernard Mullins gave evidence of arrest, charge and caution.

He said when he charged Cuddihy at 5.15pm with the murder of his father, he replied only: “I have no response.”

Det Gda Mullins, told the court that he also charged Cuddihy with the murder of his mother.

The detective said Cuddihy had replied: “I’m not signing that.”

Defence solicitor, Mr Ray Lannon asked Judge Kilrane that his client be assessed by a psychiatrist at Castlrea Prison. There was no application for bail.

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Judge Kilrane said that Julian Cuddihy had been assessed by a doctor on October 15 and that “no diagnosis of a psychiatric illness was made”.

The judge said he would direct the prison authorities to give a psychiatric assessment to Cuddihy. He also granted legal aid.

The judge remanded Cuddihy in custody to appear against a special sitting of Letterkenny District Court next Wednesday, October 29.

He was charged earlier this evening with the two counts of murder on or about Wednesday.

Julian Cuddihy being escorted into court. Picture: RTE

Julian Cuddihy being escorted into court. Picture: RTE

Meanwhile funeral arrangements are not yet made for the dead couple.The forensic tests may take several days. It could be early next week before the bodies are released.

The bodies of James (77) and Kathleen Cuddihy (73) a retired teacher and nurse-paramedic, remain in Letterkenny General Hospital where post mortem examinations have taken place.

The couple were highly respected in the locality and news of the grim discovery of their bodies at their bungalow at Churchtown along the ‘Mountain
Road’ on the outskirts of Carndonagh has sent shockwaves all over the country.

The have been described as ‘wonderful parents’ and great community people. They have four grown up children, sons James and Julian and daughters, Maureen and Delilah.

The latter is a Deputy Principal at the local St Patrick’s Girls National School.

The man in custody had seen a doctor. He was being held under Section 4 of the Criminal Justice Act.

Senior garda officers had been awaiting the results of the post mortems by State Pathologist, Dr Marie Cassidy and also the initial findings of forensic experts.

However, it is believed thecouple were dead for several hours before they were found.

The retired couple were attacked with a hatchet and the injuries to both victims were very extensive. They suffered a violent death.

The motive for the attack is not clear but there was no sign of forced entry at the house and burglary has been ruled out.

A hatchet recovered by gardaí is believed to have been the murder weapon.

This morning (Friday) gardai issued an appeal for information about the movement’s of the family car, a Silver Skoda Octavia, between 4pm on Wednesday and 9.30am yesterday (Thursday) morning.

The suspect was detained under section 4 of the Criminal Justice Act at Meendoran near Clonmany, an area of Donegal within a few minutes’ drive of the crime scene. The car was also found at Mindoran,

The discovery of the bodies was made at about 9am yesterday by the murdered couple’s son James and a local builder, Paddy Nelson, who had been carrying out work at the property.

Mr Nelson was captain of the local GAA team last year.

James Cuddihy (Jnr) has an engineering works at the rear of the family home. His suspicions were arose when he didn’t see any sign of his parents on arrival yesterday morning.

Along with the builder they made a forced entry to the house where the bodies were found. The couple’s daughter Delilah arrived at the scene shortly after.

Mr Cuddihy (snr) was a native of south, Co Kilkenny but came to Carndonagh to teach, where he also married and the couple reared their family.

He is a former captain and President of Ballyliffin Golf Club.

He taught maths and metalwork at Carndonagh Community School and formerly the old ‘tech’ in the town where he came in the 60’s and later met his wife.

He also gave grinds to local pupils studying for their Junior and Leaving Certificate exams.

Julia, was also well known in the locality as a local nurse. A keen gardener she worked voluntary for the local hospital and ambulance service and helped raise money for various charities such as the ‘Good n New’ cancer service.

The superintendent in charge of the investigation appealed for information from anyone who may have seen the family car between 4pm on Wednesday and 9.35am on Thursday morning.

Supt Eugene McGovern said the silver Skoda Octavia saloon (reg 10 DL 274) was found on Thursday morning at a lakeside in the townland of Mindoran, Clonmany, about four miles from the family home.

He asked that anyone who may have seen it being driven or parked during that time to contact Buncrana Garda Station. A man was found in close vicinity.

State Pathologist Dr Marie Cassidy arrived at the house on Thursday night and after preliminary investigations the bodies were taken to Letterkenny General Hospital.

In a statement released on Thursday morning gardai had confirmed a man in his 40s was arrested and he was being detained at Buncrana Garda Station under the provisions of Section 4 of the Criminal Justice Act- 1984.

The late Mrs Cuddihy’s father was a former county councillor from Malin- Mickey Deery.

A sister Carmel, from Letterkenny, is married to well known retired Garda Barney O’Reilly.

The tragedy has stunned locals and the wider community. The house had been cordoned off after the grim discovery.

Mr Albert Doherty, a local county councillor, is a next door neighbour of the couple. He was shocked to learn of the incident.

“This puts the world into perspective,” he said.

“I’ve lived next door to the couple for years. I’m shocked what has happened. They were lovely people, well respected and admired in our community,” he said.

Mr Doherty, Principal of St Patrick’s Boys School in Carndonagh, was at a meeting in Letterkenny early yesterday morning when he got the word.

“It is just so hard to believe,” he said.

“There is disbelief, tears and shock in the community,”

Local priest Father George McLaughlin spent some time at the house on the Buncrana Road in the town comforting son James 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 where she had been visiting friends.

“This is a very difficult time for the family,” said Fr McLaughlin.

“They were well known and therefore they would have met most people so it gets to everybody.

“The mood in the town and in the community is low. It shook everybody. All we can do is express our sincere condolences and ask people to pray for the family.

“They will need all the support and comfort we can give them.”

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