05 September 2022

Crowd mourns loss of three siblings who died in violent Tallaght incident

05 September 2022

A vigil has been held for three siblings who died in a violent incident in Dublin.

Lisa Cash, 18, and her eight-year-old twin siblings Christy and Chelsea Cawley, died after an incident at their home in Rossfield Avenue in Tallaght in the early hours of Sunday.

A large crowd gathered outside the house on Monday to mourn alongside family and friends.

Balloons were released and candles were lit along the wall outside the house in their memory as songs were played to the crowd.

Dozens of bunches of flowers, teddy bears and candles have been placed along the wall as well as photographs of the three, showing Christy and Chelsea making their first Holy Communion.

Lisa Cash, 18, and her two younger siblings, eight-year-old twins Christy and Chelsea Cawley (Family handout/PA) (PA Media)

Taoiseach Micheal Martin has expressed his “deepest sympathies” to their family, and said that the “terrible tragedy” had “left the nation shocked and very saddened”.

Ireland’s Garda Commissioner, Drew Harris, described the deaths as “dreadful and traumatic”, adding that it was “one of the worst incidents that I’ve heard of or come across in my service”.

He said it was “the most dreadful and traumatic incident leading to the death of two children and a young person. Sincerely, the most dreadful incident”.

The Commissioner appealed to anyone who was in the area at the time and may have any information, to come forward to aid the gardai with their investigation.

A man in his 20s arrested in connection with the deaths was charged on Monday evening.

A school principal said the community was in shock.

Speaking on RTE Morning Ireland on Monday, the principal of St Aidan’s Community School Kevin Shortall paid tribute to Lisa Cash.

“She was a quiet, beautiful young girl, very diligent, hard-working. Got on with her work. Was a great support to her friends in times of trouble, I heard that from a number of people yesterday,” he said.

“She is remembered as one of the most honest, genuine young people, full of integrity and no fuss, no drama around her. Got about her business and was hugely, highly regarded and very warmly remembered by so many staff members here in the school.

“I couldn’t get over the things that people were saying about her. Just a lovely, lovely person, hugely highly regarded and will be terribly, badly missed. And a lovely big sister to her brothers and sisters as well.

“I believe she was babysitting at the time, and that would have been something that she was just so good at. She was the kind of person you could trust. That’s the person Lisa was.”

He said that people were “in shock”, and that the close-knit Brookfield community would “reach out and mind each other” at this difficult time.

“We are all just meeting each other and shaking our heads and giving each other hugs and things like that. It’s a very difficult morning.”

Mr Shortall said he had liaised with the principal of the primary school that Christy and Chelsea had attended on how to respond to the “unprecedented” tragedy.

“The three schools, the junior primary school as well in the area, we will be front and centre and right in the middle of this for the next while,” he said.

Forensic officers at the scene in the Rossfield Estate in Tallaght (Niall Carson/PA) (PA Wire)

Foreign Affairs Minister Simon Coveney said that the incident “has stunned a lot of people”.

“Like so many other people, I was just so shocked to read about what happened to two beautiful children and a young teenage girl,” he said.

“For the community in Tallaght, for the school communities and obviously for the family members and friends of the deceased, this is really an incredibly shocking, tragic time.

“Our thoughts are with them and I think I speak for an awful lot of people when I say that.”

Minister for Higher Education Simon Harris said the deaths had shocked the whole country.

“What we’re all reading in the newspapers and hearing on television and on radio programmes is just beyond a horrifically tragic and devastating scenario,” Mr Harris said on Monday.

“Three young beautiful lives to be extinguished overnight through what seems to have been the most violent and heinous of crimes is something that I know has not just shocked the community of Tallaght.

“We think particularly of that community, but I think it’s something that has shocked the entire country.”

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