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Jimmy and Kathleen Cuddihy funeral: Priest speaks of 'trauma'

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Media captionKathleen and Jimmy Cuddihy's violent deaths caused fear and anxiety in their community, mourners were told

A small Irish community has been "traumatised" by the double murder of a husband and wife in County Donegal, the couple's parish priest has said.

Fr Con McLaughlin was speaking after a joint funeral was held for Jimmy and Kathleen Cuddihy in Carndonagh.

They were found dead in their home just outside the town on Thursday, 23 October. Their 42-year-old son has been charged with their murders.

Fr McLaughlin said people "could not get their heads around what happened".

The priest, who knew both victims personally, said a "silence" had fallen over the village since the attack.

'Terrible pain'

The Bishop of Derry, Donal McKeown, told mourners at the service that the couple's deaths had "caused tears, fear and anxiety in this parish and far beyond it".

"We gather round the Cuddihy family in their terrible pain and loss. But, as we gather to pay our sympathies to the extended family, we also recognise what effect their deaths have had on very many people," the bishop added.

Image caption Mourners at the double funeral were told the family has suffered "terrible pain and loss"

The couple, who were in their 70s, were buried in the grounds of the Church of the Sacred Heart after the service.

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

'Shining examples'

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

Fr McLaughlin, who was a former pupil of Mr Cuddity, described him as an "inspirational teacher".

Image caption Fr Con McLaughlin said the community of Carndonagh had "fallen silent" since the tragedy

The parish priest also said Mrs Cuddihy had treated his mother on many occasions and he would always be grateful for her care and "professionalism".

"They were people who would be very well known in the community, of very, very high standing, and also they were shining examples of their individual professions," Fr McLaughlin added.

'Dumbfounded'

The retired couple were also dedicated members of Ballyliffin golf club which was closed on Tuesday as a mark of respect.

Páid Sweeney from the club said its members were "dumbfounded" by the tragedy.

"Since it happened there's nobody interested in playing golf," he said.

Mr Sweeney described them as "decent, lovely, genuine people".

"Jimmy was a very witty man. Kathleen stuck her heart into everything. Everything she done was for the good of people in the locality."

He added: "People are just completely dumbfounded here, we don't know what to do. It will never be the same in Ballyliffin."

The couple's son, Julian Cuddihy, of Churchtown, Carndonagh, has been charged with two counts of murder.

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