Newtownabbey community responds to horror of suspected murder-suicide

News that three people died in a suspected murder-suicide last night has brought a sense of shock to the Newtownabbey community.

Saturday, 20th March 2021, 5:26 pm

It has been reported that a man stabbed his mother and girlfriend before killing himself.

Police say the incidents in which a woman died at Derrycoole Way in Rathcoole and another woman and a man at Glenville Road, a few miles away, are linked. They have confirmed that while detectives have launched a double murder investigation, they are not looking for anyone else in connection to the deaths.

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The scene on Glenville Road on Saturday morning. Pic Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker

Local representatives spoke of their horror at hearing of the tragedy.

Mayor of Antrim and Newtownabbey Borough Council, UUP Councillor Jim Montgomery described it as “a very sad incident that has created such shock with so many.

“My thoughts are with families involved who are suffering such loss and those having to pick up the pieces after this tragedy.”

Deputy Mayor, Councillor Noreen McClelland, said she was “totally shocked and distressed” at hearing the “dreadful news”.

Flowers left at the scene on Glenville Road, Newtownabbey. Pic Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker

Cllr McClelland said: “People in Newtownabbey are in shock today following three deaths in what police believe was a double murder.

“My thoughts and prayers this morning are with the friends and family of the two women who were brutally killed last night. This is a close knit community and I know that they will offer every support to those dealing with the pain of losing a loved one in such horrendous circumstances.

“Once again it appears that two women have lost their lives in a violent attack. How many more women have to die before our Executive takes action to address gender-based violence?” she said.

UUP party leader and South Antrim MLA Steve Aiken described the incident as “terrible news”.

Police at the scene in Derrycoole Way, Rathcoole. Pic Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker

“The loss of three lives is an awful tragedy for the community,” he said.

South Antrim Alliance MLA John Blair said it was “a most sad and shocking set of circumstances”.

“My thoughts and sympathies are with the families concerned in what they are going through at this time. There is a sense of shock in the wider Newtownabbey community upon hearing this tragic news.

“Police have appealed for information and I’d ask anyone who can help with their enquiries to contact them immediately,” he added.

North Belfast Sinn Féin MP John Finucane said the community are in shock following the double murder.

He added: “My first thoughts are with the family and friends of the women who were brutally killed last night.

“It’s important to bear in mind that at the heart of this tragedy are grieving families.

“The local community are absolutely shocked and stunned by these killings.

“These brutal killings highlight once again the need to oppose all violence against women and the need for a Violence Against Women and Girls Strategy in the north.”