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Carndonagh deaths: Julian Cuddihy held over parents' deaths in Donegal

Kathleen and Jimmy Cuddihy Image copyright Joe Boland
Image caption Jimmy Cuddihy was a retired schoolteacher who was originally from Kilkenny, and Kathleen Cuddihy was a retired nurse

The son of an elderly couple killed in County Donegal is being questioned about their deaths.

Jimmy and Kathleen Cuddihy, who were in their 70s, were found dead in their home just outside Carndonagh just after 09:00 BST on Thursday.

Irish broadcaster RTÉ reported that they appear to have suffered violent deaths.

Their 42-year-old son, Julian Cuddihy, is being held at Buncrana garda (police) station.

The couple had four children and had been living in Carndonagh since the 1960s.

Mr Cuddihy was a retired schoolteacher who was originally from Kilkenny, and Ms Cuddihy was a retired nurse.

Image copyright Joe Boland
Image caption The couple were found dead at their home in Churchtown just outside Carndonagh

"Sombre"

One neighbour described the mood in the area.

"You just can't take it in, it's such a big shock that something like this has happened in our community. I would have known them my entire life.

"They were lovely people, had retired quite a while but enjoyed life and gave a lot back to the community.

"The overwhelming feeling is very sombre, people are walking around in a daze. Everything else has been parked because we just can't take this in."

'Tragic'

Northern Ireland Assembly member John Dallat taught for seven years in Carndonagh with Jimmy Cuddihy and remained friends with him and his wife.

"He was an exceptionally good teacher, he knew every pupil individually, even when there would probably be up to a thousand in the school then," Mr Dallat said.

"He certainly put many people on a career course in engineering and mathematics and it just seems unbelievable that his life and that of his wife should end so tragically and in such terrible circumstances for the whole family.

"Kathleen was the local nurse, but she was much more than that."

Martin McDermott, a Fianna Fáil councillor for the area, said the town was in a state of shock.

"People are numbed with what has happened, the two people are well known in the local community so there's been a very sad reaction to the news."

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