A Donegal man has been charged with the murder of his elderly parents in an horrific axe attack.

Julian Cuddihy appeared before a special sitting of Ballyshannon District Court late on Friday night.

The 42-year-old from Carndonagh was remanded in custody to appear at Letterkenny District Court next Wednesday.

The Irish Times reports that detective Bernard Mullins told the court that he arrested Mr Cuddihy and charged him with two counts of murder at Buncrana police station.

To the first count, Cuddihy replied: “I have no response.” To the second count, he said: “I’m not signing that.”

Cuddihy’s lawyer Ray Lannon asked Judge Kevin Kilrane that his client receive immediate psychiatric assessment at Castlerea Prison.

Judge Kilrane was told that a local doctor had attended Mr Cuddihy on October 15th, but he was not psychiatric assessed. 

Lannon said: “He was previously assessed and there was no diagnosis of psychiatric illness found.”

Judge Kilrane recommended that Cuddihy be assessed as soon as was conveniently possible.

Cuddihy, wearing blue tracksuit bottoms and a wine-coloured sweat top and black trainers, sat wringing his hands throughout the hearing according to the Irish Times.

His parents were found by family members at their home on the outskirts of Carndonagh on Thursday morning.

His 73-year-old mother was a former nurse, originally from Malin Head and was known throughout Donegal for her voluntary work especially with Letterkenny General Hospital according to the report.

His father Jimmy (77) was originally from Kilkenny, but had moved to Donegal to work as a maths teacher at Carndonagh Community School.