A small Irish parish is in mourning after a man shot his former lover dead then turned his gun on himself just days before Valentine’s Day.
Police discovered the double tragedy in the remote Roscommon village of Cloonfad on Saturday.
Five children have lost a parent after Robert Hartrey shot former girlfriend Sarah Regan then killed himself.
The pair, who had five children between them from previous relationships, had broken up in recent weeks.
They were living near Sarah’s family home in Cloonfad until the break-up of the relationship,
Sarah (30) was born in Manchester but had moved back to Ireland with her family and had lived in Hartrey’s home village of Grangemockler in Tipperary.
Hartrey (45) was the father of three children from a previous relationship. He had arranged to meet Reagan, a mother-of-two, to pick up some of his belongings.
A friend who drove him to Roscommon from Tipperary was left waiting in a pub when he went to meet his former girlfriend. The friend raised the alarm after she found Hartrey dead in the front seat of his car outside Cloonfad national school.
Police then discovered Regan’s body in her car, a mile and a half from the scene.
It later transpired that Hartrey had borrowed a rifle from another friend as he wanted to "go hunting."
Local man Noel Keane told the Sunday Independent: “I just saw her in the post office last Wednesday, she was a beautiful-looking girl, tall.
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“Her parents come from Cloonfad, her dad is from only over the road. I knew him very well, even in Manchester. I’m numbed over it.
“Shocked, horrendous, we had a lot of tragedies around the years but nothing like that. It is hard to come to terms like that especially in a rural area, a peaceful community of nice country people.”
Roscommon Fine Gael councillor Michael McGreal said: “She has not lived locally until recently, people have told me. Her family and extended family would be very well known and respected people. It is a rural community and understandably there is a great amount of shock and upset. There is a great community spirit in Cloonfad.”
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