04 Dec 2021

Verdict of unlawful killing recorded following death of Limerick pensioner Rose Hanrahan

Vigil to be held in honour of murdered Rose Hanrahan

Rose Hanrahan was murdered on December 14, 2017

A FORMAL verdict of unlawful killing has been recorded at the inquest of Limerick pensioner Rose Hanrahan, who was murdered at her home nearly four years ago.

The body of the 78-year-old widow was found at the bungalow where she lived at New Road, Thomondgate (pictured below) by members of her family shortly after 1pm on December 15, 2017.

A major garda investigation was launched following the shocking killing and in July of this year a 47-year-old man - Alexandru Iordache - was jailed for life after he admitted strangling Ms Hanrahan with a curtin cord.

While the inquest into Rose Hanrahan's death was opened in September 2018, it could not proceed at that time due to the ongoing garda investigation.

"The family have been waiting a long time to get this inquest dealt with but the criminal proceedings take precedence over an inquest because that's the most important part of this so we have to wait to hold an inquest until the criminal proceedings are dealt with," said coroner John McNamara following the conclusion of the inquest which was heard at Kilmallock Courthouse yesterday afternoon.

During the inquest, which lasted for more than 30 minutes, Superintendent Dermot O'Connor read a number of depositions relating to the discovery of Rose Hanrahan's body into the record.

Detective Garda Enda Haugh, who was one of the first gardai to arrive at the scene, gave evidence relating to the murder investigation, which was one of the largest ever untaken in Limerick.

The findings of the deputy state pathologist, Dr Michael Curtis, were also read into the record. Mr McNamara said Rose Hanrahan had suffered multiple injuries and that death was due to ligature strangulation.

The jury was told after Mr Iordache (pictured below) was identified as a suspect, gardai established he had left the country. He was subsequently located in the UK and was extradited on January 16, 2020. 

A trial date was set for July 5, 2021 but a guilty plea was entered when he was arraigned at the Central Criminal Court just under a month earlier - on June 9.

Addressing the jury of four men and three women during the inquest, the coroner said the matter was straight forward given the evidence in the case.

"My directions to you are straight forward in the sense that the appropriate verdict that I have to direct you towards is one of unlawful killing. It is quite clear that, unfortunately, Rose Hanrahan was murdered in her house by this gentleman who has pleaded guilty and is serving a (life) sentence," he said adding there was "no alternative verdict" available.

After the jury returned its unanimous verdict, Mr McNamara commented the death of Rose Hanrahan had "cast a shadow over Limerick for some time" - particularly in the community where she lived.

"She was in good health, she was going about her business and she was murdered in her home quite savagely and quite frighteningly for a lot of people who live on their own. Sometimes we hear about it in rural areas but not so much in the more-city environs," he said adding: "It was a very horrific and upsetting case".

Addressing members of Rose Hanrahan's family who attended the inquest, Supt O'Connor said. "It has taken some time and you you can be very proud of the manner in which you have represented her - in particular the manner in which you have dealt with this entire process."

Expressing his condolences, Supt O'Connor added: "She was a wonderful person, she was so well liked and respected in her community and she had a heart of gold. Rose didn't deserve to die like this."

The coroner also extended his condolences to Ms Hanrahan's family following the conclusion of the inquest.

A representative of the family thanked the coroner, the jury and gardai for their assistance and sensitivity following Rose's death.

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