There is widespread shock in the north Clare community as news of two deaths emerged last evening. The deceased couple, named locally as Joe Collins and Claire Collins, were found at a house in Kilnaboy in unexplained circumstances. The couple were well known in the wider area.
Speaking to The Clare Champion, local community advocateand former President of the Irish National Teacher’s Organisation (INTO), Declan Kelleher said, “The community is absolutely stunned and shocked at what has happened. They were two lovely people that everybody knew and nobody can understand what happened. And the community want to show their solidarity and support to the family at this time – that is the focus.
“Everyone is well and truly shocked, baffled and horrified and all they do is try to be as supportive as they can for the familyin these awful sad circumstances.”
Mr Kelleher added you couldn’t meet two nicer individuals and that they were both “exceptional” people.
Speaking on RTE’s Morning Ireland, North Clare Councillor Joe Killeen (FF) said, “There is a huge deep sense of bewilderment and sadness in the area and it is heart-breaking news. There is huge shock that such a sad tragedy should come to our door and our community here in north Clare…
“…We would have known them well because in the parish of Corofin, Kilnaboy and Rath there is a very tight knit community with great comradery and support for young and old…. so the shock is great for everybody in this area.”
The bodies of the deceased remained at the scene last night and have since been removed and conveyed to the morgue at University Hospital Limerick. Post-mortem examinations are due to take place by Assistant State Pathologist Dr Margot Bolster at a later stage today, the outcome of which will determine the course of the Garda investigation. The scene remains preserved for an examination by the Garda National Technical Bureau.
Gardaí are continuing to investigate all the circumstances following the discovery of thebodies of the couple aged in their 50s. It is understood the body of the man was discovered outside the property and the woman inside the house. Emergency services were called to the scene of the incident at a house located down a boreenat around 2:30pm after a friend of the family raised the alarm.
It is understood nobody else been sought in relation to the incident. A family liaison officer has also been appointed to the family of the deceased.
Clare Gardaí have appealed for information. Anyone with information can contact Ennis Garda Station on 065 684 8100or the Garda Confidential Line on 1800 666 111 or any Garda station.
Sharon Dolan D'Arcy
Sharon Dolan D'Arcy is originally from Ennis. Her work as a print journalist has appeared in a number of regional publications. She worked as court reporter at The Sligo Weekender newspaper and is a former editor of The Athenry News and Views. She covers West Clare news.