Most of the residents of the Rossfield estate in Tallaght first became aware that something was wrong when they heard screams and shouts from the terraced house on the avenue.
The lights from the approaching emergency vehicles also lit up the area and the true horror of what had happened soon became clear.
The close-knit community yesterday tried to process the tragic events that unfolded there just after midnight on Sunday.
Twins Chelsea and Christy Cawley, 8, were salvaged at the front of the property with serious injuries.
They are believed to have been thrown out of an upstairs window after being stabbed. Her sister Lisa Cash, 18, was discovered at the bottom of a flight of stairs after being stabbed. All three were pronounced dead.
Yesterday, as Gardaí continued their investigation, many neighbors stood outside their homes and watched in disbelief as they tried to comprehend the horror that had unfolded there just hours earlier.
Throughout the day, residents near the home where the killings took place lined up to lay flowers, while young children played nearby on their bicycles.
Some children had also drawn posters to commemorate the three siblings. A garda posted at the barrier helped the children stick the drawings on a pillar. One read, “You’ve been a really good friend.” “Fly high,” read another, and another simply said, “RIP.”
A local man said he came out of his home to hear a woman screaming for help and gardaí shouted at the suspect to drop his gun.
The resident, who became emotional, also said he saw a child being thrown to the ground from an upstairs window.
“I wouldn’t have known the older girl, but the youngest ones were always there and played, they were only there the other day,” said the man, pointing to the street.
“They were great – just like all the other kids around. And now. It’s not right to do this to children. How do you explain to your friends and those at school why you are no longer there? It’s just hard to understand what happened.”
Chelsea and Christy, who recently celebrated their first communion, were students at nearby St Aidan Elementary School. In a statement, the school said it was “deeply saddened” by the tragedy.
“Our thoughts and prayers are with the families and friends of the deceased,” the school said.
“As a school, our priority will be to take every step to ensure the needs of our students and their families are met during this challenging time.
“We will support students and school staff to help them deal with this tragedy and have requested the assistance of the National Educational Psychology Service in this regard.”
Fianna Fáil local councilor Charlie O’Connor said he received calls early yesterday as details of the tragedy emerged.
“I was deeply shocked, the community is shocked, we obviously have to think of the family and sympathize with the family and hope they get all the support they need,” he said. “I understand Gardaí are also deeply shocked at the scene, as you would expect.
“Not only here in Rossfield, but in the wider Tallaght area, this is a truly terrible tragedy.”
South Dublin Mayor Emma Murphy described the loss of three young people’s lives as an “unfathomable and terrible” tragedy.
As the family and community mourn, the Garda Inquiry will continue to seek to determine how and why this tragedy happened.
https://www.independent.ie/irish-news/crime/its-hard-to-understand-whats-happened-tight-knit-tallaght-community-left-in-deep-shock-after-horrific-deaths-41960939.html Tallaght killings: ‘It’s hard to understand what happened’ – the close-knit Tallaght community is deeply shocked after horrific deaths