A bleak atmosphere hung over Westport this week after the bodies of two missing children from Carlow were found in the boot of a car which was driven by their father Sanjeev Chada who has been arrested on suspicion of murder.
The bodies of Eoghan (10 ) and Ruairi (five ) Chada were discovered in the car after it crashed into a wall on the Old Coast Road at Rosbeg on Monday afternoon around 3.30pm. The Ford Focus, which was driven by their father Sanjeev, collided head on into a wall after the car drove out off a side road onto the main road. Those who came across the crash found the 43-year-old driver with a noose wrapped around his neck and the bodies of his sons in the car boot.
The boys were reported missing on Sunday night after Sanjeev left the family home at Ballinkillen, Co Carlow, with the children to go bowling in Carlow and never returned. The Child Rescue Ireland alert system was used for the first time by gardaí on Monday to try and locate the boys, however the grim discovery in Westport was the sad conclusion to the search for the children.
The scene at Rosbeg was immediately preserved for a technical examination and the car was removed from the scene of the collision for further technical and forensic examination. A post mortem of the two children was carried out by the deputy State pathologist Dr Jabbar with the results of the post mortem not being released, however it has been reported that the boys died from asphyxiation, and were killed hours before the crash.
Sanjeev Chada, who was treated in Mayo General Hospital for injuries sustained in the crash was released from hospital on Wednesday afternoon and was arrested after his release at 12.30pm. He was brought to Westport Garda Station for questioning and was detained under Section 4 of the Criminal Justice Act, 1984 where he could be detained for 24 hours. Questioning was suspended on Wednesday evening to allow him to sleep and resumed on Thursday morning which meant that the period of detention was due to expire on Thursday evening. At the time of going to print Mr Chada had not been charged.
Yesterday a technical examination was carried out on an area near Ballintubber Abbey.
The bodies of the two boys were released on Wednesday night and made the journey home to their mother Kathleen in a single white coffin.
The brothers are to be buried today (Friday ) in St Lazerian's Church, Ballinkillen at 1pm, with burial afterwards in the adjoining cemetery.
Cathaoirleach of Mayo County Council, Westport area councillor John O’Malley said that people in Westport are “shocked and stunned” about the events which occurred. “It’s the most horrible news that I have ever heard in the area,” Cllr O’Malley told the Mayo Advertiser. He expressed his sympathy to the family of the deceased and said that he hoped that God would give their mother strength during this difficult time.
Cathaoirleach of Westport Town Council Michael McLaughlin also conveyed his sympathy to the family of the deceased for this “terrible tragedy.”