Irish leader Enda Kenny has described the killing of two elderly brothers in his home town of Castlebar, County Mayo, as an “act of savagery.”

The bodies of the two men Jack Blaine (70) and his brother, Tom (68) were discovered at 7am on Wednesday in their terraced home. Investigators believe they were the victims of a botched robbery.

Gardai arrested a 26-year-old man for questioning about the savage murder on Wednesday evening. He can be held without charge for up to 24 hours.

The Irish Independent reports that one of the victims was found inside the house on New Antrim Street by a home help nurse who worked for the men, while the second body was discovered in the backyard.

The Fine Gael leader knew the men personally as their home was just doors down from his constituency office in Castlebar.

"I was shocked this morning to get a call from my own town where there's been a brutal and savage murder of two men that I knew well, two brothers," he said.

"[They] were residents of the street where my office is for very many years, and I find this is an act of savagery,” he said.

The Irish leader said the brothers were well liked.

“They never harmed anybody in their lives, were residents of the street where my office is, I knew them very well,” he said. “I’m very sorry to hear of these brutal murders.”

Police in Mayo are examining CCTV footage from the area in an effort to piece together their last movements.

The men’s remains were taken to Mayo General Hospital for post mortem examinations.

Ger Deere, Fine Gael deputy mayor of Castlebar, told the Irish Times the whole town was stunned. “The men were liked gentlemen, inoffensive gentlemen, everyone around Castlebar knew them,” he said.

“They were part of the landscape.”

“Everyone in the town seemed to have a word for them. They were quiet, inoffensive, well-liked by everyone, known by everyone on the street. It’s very tragic. No-one would ever have expected what has happened here in Castlebar.”

The crime scene at New Antrim St. in Castlebar Co. MayoIrish Independent