18/11/2010

Appeal Launched Over Cork Sisters' Murder

An appeal has been launched seeking the public's assistance over the movements of a car in the hours following the tragic double murder of two young sisters in County Cork.

Gardai in Midleton, investigating the deaths of the sisters and their father, who died after his car slammed into a ditch, said they are seeking the public's assitance in accounting for the whereabouts of red Toyota Yaris 02c1526.

Officers said that between 9.00am its male occupant bought petrol in Shanagarry before the vehicle was involved in a fatal collision in Ballycotton at around 9.40am.

Anyone who may have seen this vehicle between these times or have any information is asked to contact Midleton Garda station on 021-4621550.

Yesterday, Gardaí named the victims of the suspected double filicide in Co Cork, which left two young sisters dead by the hand of their suicidal Father.

John Butler died after he crashed his car between Ballycotton and Shanagarry shortly after he is believed to have strangled his two daughters, Zoe (6) and Ella (2), who were subsequently found dead at the family home, at Ballybraher in Ballycotton.

Their mother Una Butler, a Revenue Commissioners official in Cork city, was at work when she heard about the incident and is being consoled by family members.

The friend contacted gardaí to raise the alarm and the scene was preserved until State pathologist Dr Marie Cassidy arrived at the house before 5pm and carried out a preliminary examination of the bodies at the scene.

A Gardaí spokesman described the deaths as tragic and the assistant state pathologist, Dr Margaret Bolster, has carried out preliminary examinations. It is expected the bodies will be removed to Cork University Hospital for post mortem tests.

Two units of the county fire service attended the scene of the collision and officers in Midleton are dealing with both incidents.

(DW/GK)

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