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Dublin: 1°C Sunday 28 November 2021

'We would have spent Christmas together in her house': Heartbreak over Limerick woman found dead in suspicious circumstances

Gardaí have been granted an extra 48-hours to forensically examine the home.

A section of the New Road near Thomondgate in Limerick.
A section of the New Road near Thomondgate in Limerick.
Image: Google Maps

Updated at 9.29pm

A SISTER OF a pensioner found dead in suspicious circumstances, fought back tears today, as she revealed they were both to spend Christmas Day together in the house where her beloved sibling’s body was discovered.

Helen Carmody said she was “in a daze” since her older sister Rosie Hanrahan (78) was found dead by family members in her Limerick home yesterday.

Gardaí are treating the woman’s death as murder.

“All I want is to see her,” Carmody said, clutching a photograph of Rosie, at her home in Kileely.

Carmody said she had faith the gardai would find the right answers as to how her sister died.

CCTV footage from security cameras near the house, at New Road, Thomondgate, was being harvested all day by gardaí. House to house garda enquiries in the area also continued.

“I’m putting my faith in the cameras,” Carmody said.

She smiled:

We always spent Christmas together in her house because she’d cook dinner. I wouldn’t cook it right, she’d tell me.

“We would have spent Christmas together in her house. It’s only when (Christmas) happens that (this) will really sink in. It doesn’t feel real now.”

She said Rosie’s body was discovered by their other sister Evelyn and her husband Jimmy when they called yesterday afternoon to return a handbag Rosie had left behind at their house.

“I’m in a daze. It’s like it has not really happened.”

“Very careful”

She said:

“(Rosie) was very careful going to bed. She’d lock all the doors.

“She’s going to be a big loss to all of us. I will miss her dreadfully. I can’t make sense of it really.

“She never did anything to anybody. She was very good to everybody and then this.

Everybody liked her. Rosie was very good living. She loved the gardening and she went to bingo.

Carmody said Rosie felt secure in the home she had resided for the past 40 years, and that she did not have an alarm installed.

“She was very independent. She wasn’t a nervous person, as long as everything was locked up and she went to bed, then she was grand.”

“An appalling tragedy”

Fianna Fáil TD, Willie O’Dea, a family friend, visited the scene.

“It’s just appalling tragedy. There are no words to describe it really,” he said.

The Thomodgate community were distraught at the loss of the popular pensioner.

Patricia Hayes, whose home adjoins Ms Hanrahan’s, said she was in deep shock:

“It’s hard to believe Rosie is gone. It’s devastating. I hope she’s resting in heaven with her husband Mike.”

Another neighbour, Julie Butler, wept in her sitting room as she tried to come to terms with the news:

What can I say about Rose. She was just a lovely lady. She helped out everyone.

Garda forensic officers and a DNA scientist all day combed Ms Hanrahan’s house for clues as to how she died.

Superintendent Derek Smart, Henry Street Garda station, appealed for anyone with information that may help them to come forward in confidence.

Read: Garda probe launched after ‘suspicious death’ of elderly woman in Limerick

Read: ‘Maybe they were making a trunk call’: Gardaí discover passenger hidden in boot of car

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David Raleigh

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