Cork farmer drowns daughter and commits suicide over marriage break down with American wife
Rural community in shock as Dad drowns his three-year-old in shallow waters, then himself
An Irish farmer drowned his three-year-old daughter before killing himself over fears his American wife would bring the child to live in the United States. Martin McCarthy (50), a farmer, had been treated for depression and a heart condition and was deeply upset as his marriage to Rebecca (26), from California was breaking down.
His wife arrived home to their isolated farmhouse in Ballydehob, West Cork to find a suicide note and alerted police. The note was described as long and rambling.
A huge search operation was soon underway both of the isolated farm and the nearby ocean. Sadly, the bodies of little Clarissa and her dad were discovered in shallow water a few hundred yards from the family farm.
Rebecca witnessed the findings of the bodies and the desperate attempt first to resuscitate the little girl and then the father.
Rebecca McCarthy came originally from Los Angeles and found work as a nanny in Ireland and wanted to move back home to California. Her family were on their way from LA last night to comfort her.
The couple married seven years ago but according to the Irish Sun their relationship was falling apart. “Rebecca was planning to move home to America – they had effectively separated. Martin was very upset and I suppose it all came to a head last night.”
“It is a horrific tragedy – Clarissa was the apple of Martin’s eye,” said a local source.
A post-mortem conducted last night confirmed that the doting dad drowned himself and his daughter over fears that his wife was planning to leave him.
A close friend, Leslie Swanton, said: “I am just in total shock. I knew Martin for 30 odd years.
“He was a very loving father and his daughter was his world. He was completely devoted to her.”
He had last met him on Monday evening: “He was his usual self. I can’t imagine what was going through his head. I just don’t know what happened.”
According to the Mirror, Rebecca McCarthy raised the alarm after she came home to an empty house and found the note.
Police and coastguard rushed to the scene and commenced a sea and ground search in total darkness.
The coast guard found little Clarissa first and then continued searching the dark water off the beach.
Emergency services tried for more than an hour to revive the little girl but their brave efforts could not bring her back.
At approximately 2.30 am the body of her father Martin was found in shallow water and he too was pulled from the water.
He was pronounced dead by a doctor who was at the scene helping rescuers.
Local sources told the paper that Rebecca, 26, was originally from California and met Martin when she came on vacation to West Cork. She was working as an au-pair for a local vet.
They were married seven years ago.
One local man said: “Martin worked seven days a week. He owned a large farm and also rented a number of acres around the area.
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