Northern Ireland news

Neighbour suspect in Newry double murder-suicide

Police cordon off an area at Glin Ree Court in Newry where the sudden deaths of three people are being investigated. Picture by Mal McCann

The murder of a mother and her teenage daughter in Co Down may have been carried out by a neighbour who then took his own life.

Police said they are not seeking anyone else in connection with the discovery of three bodies at an apartment in Glin Ree Court in Newry at around 11am on Thursday.

Police believe that all three may have died several days ago.

Officers made the grim discovery after forcing entry to the apartment following a call from a concerned relative who contacted a local police station to say they had not been able to reach their loved ones for several days.

The victims, a 37-year-old mother and her 15-year-old daughter are foreign nationals who had been living in Newry. The third body was that of a man, aged 38, who lived in a nearby apartment.

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Detective Superintendent Jason Murphy of the PSNI's Serious Crime Branch said police were not seeking anyone else in relation to the discovery of the three bodies.

The case is being treated as a potential murder suicide and the apartment block remains closed off while forensic officers examine the scene.

The development of apartments, just off the Belfast to Newry road, was built around 15 years and is home to both local people and a large number of foreign nationals.

Friends of the mother and daughter laid flowers at police lines on Thursday afternoon as news of the tragedy spread throughout the city, however, they were too upset to speak to the media.

Staff at a nearby supermarket said that many of the residents of the apartment block were new to the city, some of whom commute daily across the border for work.

Mr Murphy said: "The circumstances of the deaths will now be subject to investigation and post-mortem examinations will take place in due course.

"Our investigation is ongoing at present and our thoughts at this time are very much with the loved ones of those who have died.

"At this time the three have not been formally identified and cause of death has not been established", he added.

SDLP MLA for Newry and Armagh Justin McNulty said that news of the tragedy "truly cast a dark cloud over our city".

"While the victims may not have been born here they were still a part of this community, Newry is a diverse city with people from all over the world who work and live here.

"That makes this terrible event all the more shocking.

"My thoughts and prayers are with the family and close friends of the deceased".

Sinn Féin Newry City councillor, Charlie Casey, said the community was "in shock" following the discovery.

"I would encourage anyone with information on this incident to bring it forward to the PSNI".

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