Page last updated at 15:32 GMT, Tuesday, 12 May 2009 16:32 UK

Family could not be saved: report

The Dunne family
Adrian and Ciara Dunne with Leanne and Shania

It was "unlikely" the deaths of a family at their home in Wexford in April 2007 could have been averted, an official report has found.

Adrian Dunne, 29, killed his wife Ciara, from Burt in Donegal, and his daughters Leanne, five, and Shania, three, before taking his own life.

The inquiry found Mr Dunne frequently misinformed service providers by providing misleading information.

It also found Mrs Dunne had colluded with him in fabricating stories.

Mrs Dunne died of strangulation and Leanne and Shania were smothered.

It is believed Mr Dunne died shortly afterwards.

Mr Dunne had visited an undertaker three days before his family died to arrange their funerals, and said he was afraid they would be killed in a car accident.

He was described as the "driving force" behind the planning and execution of the deaths of Mrs Dunne and her daughters.

The inquiry also found that Mr Dunne had fabricated stories about family trips abroad and the deaths of an entire family in a car accident which were found to be untrue.


The report acknowledged the need to provide an out-of-hours social work service across the country, but said that "even if the gardaí or social services had called to the Dunne family home during the course of the weekend, it is likely that the tragedy would not have been averted."

However, iIt said that gardaí should have considered contacting Mr Dunne's family to advise them of his visit to an undertaker on the Friday before the deaths.

A total of 26 recommendations were made which related to both gardaí and the Health Service Executive.

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