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'They will be greatly missed': School principal pays tribute to children and mother found dead in Ballinteer

The family have been named locally as 37-year-old Seema Banu, her daughter Asfira and her son Faizan.

Seema Banu with her children.
Seema Banu with her children.

Updated Oct 29th 2020, 7:26 PM

THE SCHOOL PRINCIPAL of two children who were found dead with their mother in a house in Ballinteer, south Dublin has released a statement paying tribute to the three. 

Investigations into the unexplained deaths of the mother and two children are continuing this morning.

Forensic examinations took place at the scene yesterday afternoon after gardaí found the bodies of the woman, aged 37, and the children – a boy (6) and a girl (11) – at the house in Llewellyn Court in the southside Dublin suburb.  

The family have been named locally as 37-year-old Seema Banu, her daughter Asfira and her son Faizan.  

The two children attended Ballinteer Educate Together National School. 

Principal Orlaith Curran spoke of the community’s “devastation” at hearing the news. 

She said: “We learned yesterday of the deaths of two of our students, Faizan Syed and Asfira Riza and their mother Seema. This is a terrible tragedy for their family, our school and our community. We are deeply saddened by these devastating events. Our sympathy and thoughts are with the children’s family and friends.

“Faizan Syed was in first class and his sister Asfira was in sixth class. They will both be greatly missed by all who knew them. Offers of support have been pouring in and are greatly appreciated.”

The statement added that the school has implemented what is known as a critical incident management plan.

“Psychologists from the National Educational Psychological Service (NEPS) have been with us today supporting and advising our school staff in preparation for the return of our students from the mid-term break,” the statement concluded.

A man, understood to be the woman’s husband and father to the children, made contact with gardaí yesterday. The investigating team has been speaking with him. 

Gardaí were alerted to the scene yesterday afternoon after neighbours raised concerns. Officers forced entry to the house where they discovered the bodies. 

The mother was found in her bedroom and the children were discovered in a different room. 

The Garda Technical Bureau attended the scene yesterday and the bodies were removed from the scene. It has remained sealed off as a crime scene.  

A garda spokesman today confirmed that the post- mortem exams, conducted by Dr Heidi Okkers,  will be completed tomorrow. The results of these examinations will direct the investigation, gardáí said.

Officers asked for people not to speculate about the case on social media. 

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Vigil

Dozens of locals turned out at a vigil in the Llewellyn estate yesterday evening. Candles and other tributes were left under a tree close to the house. Nearby, a park bench was decorated with colourful ribbons. 

Seema Banu was the victim of an alleged assault earlier this year and a suspect had appeared in court on related charges – but has not gone on trial. 

With reporting by Hayley Halpin 

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