Rose Hanrahan was murdered in her home in Thomondgate
THE GARDA leading the murder probe into the death of elderly widow Rose Hanrahan has said that Limerick gardai have harvested “thousands of hours of CCTV footage” so far in their investigations.
And while the killer is still at large, Superintendent Derek Smart has said that he is “very satisfied with the way the investigation is progressing”.
In an interview with the Leader on Tuesday, Supt Smart, of Henry Street garda station, said that gardai have spoken to around 1,900 people in connection with Rose’s murder.
Rose, aged 78, was found dead at her small terraced home on New Road, Thomondgate, on Friday, December 15, by family members.
Gardai examined the crime scene for six days after launching a murder investigation on December 16 at Mayorstone garda station.
Supt Smart said that reviewing the CCTV footage will be a “slow process”.
Fianna Fail Deputy Willie O’Dea has said that the murderer “shouldn’t underestimate the determination of the gardai to bring this matter to a successful conclusion”, and that he remains confident that arrests will be made.
Deputy O’Dea, who was close friends with Rose, described the investigation as “an intensive operation” because they are relying “very heavily” on forensic evidence.
“The killer, or killers, is still at large. Obviously that is a worry to the community. Nevertheless, talking to people down there, they are reassured that the gardai are making every effort to bring the people responsible to justice. And I know the investigation is slow, because there are no direct witnesses, it obviously makes it slower. And they are relying very heavily on forensic evidence. Nevertheless, they are proceeding steadily, and I remain confident that they will get the result here.”
Meanwhile, reports have emerged that a convicted sex offender from Eastern Europe is being treated as a suspect in the investigation. However, according to the Sunday World, the individual fled the country a number of days after Rose’s murder.
Asked about the report, Supt Smart said that he “can’t comment on anything” that was featured in the Sunday World article.
Last week, gardai had spoken to more than 1,300 people and required around 150 call-backs to people in the Thomondgate and wider community.
“With the Christmas period, a lot of people may have been away from over the Christmas period, gone to visit family and friends. It was about catching up with those people.”
In a previous interview with the Leader, Chief Superintendent David Sheahan urged more people to come forward with information.
“We have made a certain amount of progress in respect of this investigation. But still, we are appealing to the community, if they have anything, no matter how small they think it is. For heaven’s sake, bring it forward, let us know.”
Anyone with information in relation to the murder of Rose Hanrahan is asked to contact Mayorstone garda station on 061 456980 or Henry Street garda station at 061 212400, or the Garda Confidential Line on 1800 666 111.