'Horror' expressed at suspicious death of elderly Limerick woman

Alan Owens

Reporter:

LIMERICK TD Maurice Quinlivan has expressed his "horror" at the events surrounding the death of an elderly woman in Limerick.

The woman, 78-year-old Rose Hanrahan, was found dead at her home on Friday lunchtime. Gardai are treating her death as suspicious, but are awaiting the results of a post-mortem, which a spokesperson said this Saturday morning would "dictate the direction of the investigation".

Deputy State Pathologist Dr Michael Curtis will carry out that post-mortem examination but the woman's remains are still at the house. Gardai this Saturday made an application at a special court sitting to have the house designated a scene for 48 hours, which was granted.

Up to a dozen gardai from Mayorstone and Henry Street were deployed to the scene at New Road, Thomondgate on Friday where the woman was found dead at 1.30pm by a relative.

The widower was found unresponsive at the premises. According to reports, gardai believe that she may have died violently, while it is understood that a burglary may also have taken place at the house.

Sinn Fein TD Quinlivan, who lives locally, expressed his horror at events that took place in Thomondgate, which left a woman dead in her own home. He called on anyone with information to contact gardai.

"Whilst the Garda investigation is ongoing and we await the results from the post-mortem I, along with the local community, am shocked at the terrible news of the death of Mrs Hanrahan in her home.

"Thomondgate is a lovely place to live and I want to condemn in the strongest terms possible what seems to have been a despicable attack on an older person who was loved and respected in our community.

"Some people will know or suspect who may have done this and I would urge anyone with information to come forward to An Garda Síochána as a matter of urgency," he added.

The Thomondgate woman was very popular in the area and was described as "kind and loving" by one resident.

Local Fianna Fail TD Willie O'Dea was friends with Mrs Hanrahan and her late husband Mike and he said she was "a living saint. Rose was an absolute lady. I walked down to the house tonight and everybody I met was stunned. She was very gentle and very welcoming."