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Belfast Police investigate the deaths of two women and a man in an apparent murder-suicide on March 19 in Newtownabbey.

According to the Irish Times, Ken Flanagan, the suspected murderer, from severe drug addiction. Police believe the suspect stabbed to death his mother and then his girlfriend in two separate locations, then killed himself.

At 23:00, police received a report of a stabbing at a house near Derrycoole way. Emergency services found a woman dead at the scene. As officers carried out further enquiries, they attended a property on Glenville road where they found an unconscious Flanagan. Despite medical attention, paramedics pronounced him dead. According to Detective Chief Inspector John Caldwell, upon further inspection officers found a deceased female also in the property.

Officials believe the first victim to be Karen McClean, Flanagan’s mother, and the latter to be Stacey Knell, the suspect’s girlfriend. According to Metro News, McClean’s neighbours heard her screaming “I’m dying, I’m dying, it’s my son”.

However, police allegedly received a warning about Flanagan hours prior to the killings. Sam Lillie who shares a child with Ms Knell contacted officials concerned about Flanagan’s state. Police later confirmed that they received such a call concerning the safety of a child. But, police denied assisting the Lillie at the time.

Northern Ireland’s Minister for Justice describes the murder as “an absolute tragedy”. She plans to bring new proposals to government to protect women from violence.

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