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05th Sep 2022

“Something you don’t think is ever going to come to your doorstep” – Community in shock after sibling deaths in Tallaght

Dave Hanratty

Tallaght deaths

“She was the kind of person you could trust. That’s the kind of person Lisa was.”

A community is starting its week in a state of shock following the fatal stabbing of three young siblings in Tallaght in the early hours of Sunday morning, 4 September.

Gardaí continue to investigate all possible circumstances surrounding the violent stabbing incident that took place at a residence in the Rossfield Estate.

The victims have been named as 18-year-old Lisa Cash and her siblings; twins Christy and Chelsea Cawley, both eight years of age.

Their brother, aged 14, remains in Tallaght University Hospital with serious but non life-threatening injuries, having raised the alarm during the incident after escaping through a window.

As of Monday morning, Gardaí are continuing to question a man in his 20s who was arrested at the scene. It is understood he arrived at the home in Rossfield at around midnight, while Lisa Cash was babysitting her siblings.

According to reports, he forced his way into the house where Cash and her siblings were subsequently attacked. The man is believed to be known to the family.

Upon arriving at the scene, Gardaí used “less than lethal” devices in order to subdue and arrest the suspect. At the time of writing on Monday morning, the house at Rossfield Estate remains sealed off so that Gardaí may continue to examine the area.

Gardaí are currently not seeking any other suspects in connection with the attack.

Speaking on Morning Ireland on RTÉ Radio 1 on Monday, Fianna Fáil councillor Emma Murphy summed up the harrowing mood amongst locals.

“It’s something that is going to take this community an awful long time to come to terms with,” Murphy said.

“It’s something that you don’t think is ever going to come to your doorstep. We’ve three lost lives and the community is absolutely devastated.”

Also in conversation on Morning Ireland on Monday – Kevin Shortall, principal of St Aidan’s Community School in Brookfield, where Lisa Cash attended as she completed her Leaving Cert last year.

“On occasions like this you hear so many people saying ‘there are no words’ – there are no words,” Shortall said. “The community is in shock. We’re all just meeting each other and shaking our heads.

“Anybody that knows our community here in Brookfield will know how close it is, how strong the bonds are between the school and the community, and though nothing like this has ever happened before, in times of great crisis, people come together.”

Shortall reaffirmed the community response ahead of a difficult week for all involved.

“We will be front and centre and right in the middle of this for the next while… we have over 20 staff members who live in this community or are from this community. You really feel it as a person from Tallaght. You feel a sense of loss but also a sense of urgency and a sense of responsibility at this time.”

Shortall also underlined that Lisa Cash was a well-regarded and highly popular member of her school and wider community.

“She was a quiet, beautiful young girl,” he said. “Very diligent and hard-working. She worked very hard on her Leaving Cert in difficult times during Covid.

“She is remembered as one of the most honest, genuine people full of integrity – no fuss, no drama around her. Just a a lovely, lovely person… a lovely big sister to her brother and sister, as well. She was the kind of person you could trust. That’s the kind of person Lisa was.”

Speaking shortly afterwards while previewing the UK election, Minister for Foreign Affairs Simon Coveney began by expressing his condolences and support for the family involved and the community in Tallaght at large.

Imagery via An Garda Síochána / Norma Burke/

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