Updated: 16/12/16 : 05:36:38
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Mayo lawyer and son found dead in London

British detectives are investigating the death of a young Irish mother and her seven-year-old son in London.

The Irish Independent reports that police were called to a house in The Fairway, Ruislip, in west London, at about 10.50am on Wednesday amid concerns for the welfare of the mother, identified as Sinéad Higgins, originally from Aughagower, Westport, Co Mayo.

After forcing their way into the home, they found the bodies of Ms Higgins - believed to be 37 years old - and her son Oisín O'Driscoll (7) inside, according to the Metropolitan Police.

It was hoped a post mortem due to take place at the nearby Fulham mortuary today would shed some light on the tragedy.


However, police said they were not looking for anyone else in connection with the deaths last night.

"The investigation is at a very early stage but inquiries so far lead us to believe there is a likelihood that the tragic events that led to the deaths do not involve a third party," Detective Inspector Dave Bolton of the Homicide and Major Crime Command unit said.

The Higgins family in Mayo are well known and respected locally. Ms Higgins was one of 10 children.

Her father Thomas Higgins passed away two years ago and her brother Cathal was killed in a road crash in 2004. Her mother Mary still lives at the family home in Arderry.

Ms Higgins was a qualified nurse who moved to the UK 11 years ago and recently retrained as a lawyer.

Meanwhile, residents of Aughagower were in shock over news of the deaths.


A neighbour said Ms Higgins's death and that of her son was the latest in a string of tragedies to hit the Higgins family, who were local farmers and ran a fencing business. "It's desperate. Everyone is shocked," a neighbour said to the Irish Independent.

Taoiseach Enda Kenny, who knew Tom Higgins well as chairman of the local Fine Gael club, had visited him in hospital after he fell ill and attended his funeral. Speaking in Brussels last night, Kenny told the Irish Independent news of Ms Higgins death had left him reeling.

"I know that family very well," he said. "When I got that message here in Brussels I have to say it went through me. When you know people so well ...a tragedy like this, it leaves you in a state of understanding that people face difficulties that you might never contemplate."

Local Mayo county councillor Michael Holmes (Ind), who is a distant relative of Mary Higgins, said he too was shocked and saddened to hear the news.

Neighbours in the quiet suburb of west London said they believed Ms Higgins had been living in the area for the past two years. Yesterday afternoon, a man and a woman left flowers on the doorstep of the house with a message that read "My best friend. I'll miss you".

Neighbour Barbara Lonnon told the 'Evening Standard' newspaper that the last time she had spoken to Ms Higgins was about a month ago.

"She kept herself to herself but we'd speak if we saw each other on the street," she said. "She was Irish and had lived here for two years. I met her in her first summer here.

"I never really spoke to her son Oisín, he was seven and ran around like little boys do. He was a friendly chap and it's so sad his life has been cut short." Forensic teams and London Ambulance Service were first spotted at the house on Wednesday. It's understood the next of kin have been informed of the deaths and police said they were being treated as unexplained.