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Dublin: 3 °C Monday 16 December, 2019
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"Everyone is deeply upset" - Mayo village in shock after deaths of two pensioners in tragic circumstances

The bodies of Tom and Kitty Fitzgerald were discovered at their home in Knockadoon, near Irishtown, yesterday afternoon.

knock Knockadoon, Co Mayo Source: Google Maps

THE VILLAGE OF Irishtown in Co Mayo is this morning coming to terms with the deaths of a well-known local couple in tragic circumstances.

The bodies of Tom and Kitty Fitzgerald, aged respectively in their late 70s and mid 60s, were discovered at their home at Knockadoon, about a mile from the Galway border, shortly after 3pm yesterday afternoon.

A third man, aged in his late 30s, was found at the scene and was removed to University Hospital Galway, with what are believed to be serious injuries.

Today, the village is set to face a media spotlight it is ill-equipped to handle.

“It’s a deep loss to the local community,” said local Galway councillor Donagh Killilea.

They were heavily involved in everything, Tom was deeply involved with a lot of community organisations, particularly in the Irishtown area.

“This will take a terrible toll on their family and their neighbours,” he added.

A Garda case conference took place yesterday evening to establish the facts of the situation and to establish a full investigation.

The nature of the deaths is not yet known. Gardaí are understood to be keeping an open mind regarding the investigation.

The scene has been preserved for a full Garda forensic examination due to take place today, while post mortems are expected to take place later.

Local journalist Michael Commins described Tom Fitzgerald as “at the heart and soul of the community life of Irishtown”.

He served as chairman of the Community Council for several years. He was a passionate supporter of Mayo and he played a central role in the local Davitts GAA Club over the last few decades.

He said that Kitty was equally involved, and ”like so many people in the western region, they had a huge ‘grá’ for country music”.

She was bubbly and vibrant and always brought a smile to all her friends. When Kitty arrived for choir practice (as she did last week), she always managed to raise the spirits.

Last night, a Mass was held in the locality, while the local Davitts GAA club cancelled a planned meeting.

Parish priest Martin O’Connor described the deceased couple to RTÉ as one of the nicest couples you could meet, and as being regarded very well locally.

For now, the community can only attempt to deal with the shock it is experiencing.

“Everyone is deeply upset with what has happened,” said Killilea.

It is not easily understandable.
This is a sleepy little village, it is not used to this kind of thing at all.

Read: ‘Some matters still not investigated’: Report finds HSE too slow to investigate foster home abuse claims

Read: Gardaí investigating death of teenager after being struck by car on Clare road

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