Community in shock after deaths of local Mayo couple

The bodies of Kitty and Tom Fitzgerald were found in their home in Irishtown.

Postmortems are due to take place today on the bodies of an elderly couple who died in Mayo.

The remains of Tom Fitzgerald, who was in his 70s and his wife Kitty, who was aged in her 60s, were discovered at their home about a mile outside of Irishtown, close to the Galway Mayo border, yesterday.

Emergency services attended the scene, located just outside the village, where the couple were pronounced dead. A man in his 30s who was also found injured, and was taken to University Hospital Galway for treatment.

Speaking to Newstalk, Michael Commins with the Mayo News says that the community is in shock at what has happened.

"I was up in the village last night, a village I know very, very well from having covered it for years [...] and everywhere you go, they say themselves that it's a very quiet area, and nothing like this has ever happened."

Commins added that while no cause of death has been determined yet, police "are keeping a very open mind about this [...] as they have to keep all options open."

Painting a picture of the couple's place at the heart of the local community, Commins stated that there was almost nothing going on in Irishtown that the Fitzgeralds weren't involved in.

"I knew Tom, he was a lovely man. He was the chairman of the Local Community Council back in the 1980s and '90s. He was involved in practically everything in the community. He was involved with Foróige for many years, he was very much involved with the Davitts GAA club in the area, and he played football with Ballindine prior to the formation of the club there.

"He was very involved in the local Irishtown church; he was the Eucharistic minister there, and his wife sang in the choir."

Speaking to The Irish Times, local priest Fr Martin O’Connor said the couple were central to the local community, and that they were almost "saintly."

"They would be embarrassed if I called them that but they were," he added. "Anything that was to be done for the betterment of the community Tom would be involved in it."

A local resident told the Mayo News that: "There’s huge shock in the area, people cannot believe it. You don’t get incidents like this in Irishtown. Our hearts go out to the family."