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Bruna Fonseca has been named by gardaí as the deceased woman found in Cork this morning. Her photo has been released by her family. Garda Press Office
Bruna Fonseca

Tributes paid to 28-year-old hospital worker found dead while man remains in custody

The woman has been named as 28-year-old Bruna Fonseca, a Brazilian national who was working Mercy University Hospital in Cork.

LAST UPDATE | 1 Jan 2023

A WOMAN WHOSE body was discovered at a flat in Cork city this morning has been named by gardaí as 28-year-old Bruna Fonseca.

The Brazilian native was found unresponsive in an apartment and pronounced dead a short time later.

A man has been arrested following the discovery. He remains in custody.

Gardaí and emergency services were alerted to the incident at around 6.30am at a property on Liberty Street, Cork city.

Fonseca, who was from Formiga in Minais Gerais in Brazil, was working as a contract cleaner at the Mercy University Hospital in Cork city.

She was a qualified librarian and a graduate of the Centro Universitário de Formiga. It is understood she had been living in Ireland for less than a year.

Mercy University Hospital has described Fonseca as a hard worker and expressed condolences to her family and friends. 

“On behalf of management and staff at Mercy University Hospital Cork and Bidvest Noonan’s Contract Cleaners we are saddened and shocked at the tragic and unexpected death of Bruna Fonseca,” a statement from the hospital said.

“Even though she was only working for a short time for the company at the hospital she was considered a hard and diligent worker and an esteemed colleague.

“We extend our deepest condolences to her friends in Cork, and her family and friends in Brazil. May she rest in peace.”

Garda investigation

Gardai had met a man known to Fonseca outside the flat and he had taken them to a bedroom in the flat over a hair salon on Liberty Street in the city centre.

CPR was carried out on Fonseca but efforts to resuscitate her were to no avail and she was pronounced dead at the scene.

The rented flat is within metres of the Washington Street courthouse and near to Cork city centre.

A man in his 20s who was subsequently arrested remains in garda custody at the Bridewell Station in Cork city.

He is being held under Section 4 of the Criminal Justice Act and can be detained for up to twenty four hours from the time of his arrest.

The body of the deceased was removed from the scene at lunchtime today.

Her body was taken to Cork University Hospital for a post mortem examination which was conducted by Assistant State Pathologist, Dr Margaret Bolster.

The results have not been released for operational reasons.

Gardaí said the investigation is being led by a Senior Investigating Officer (SIO) and a Garda Family Liaison Officer (FLO) has been appointed to liaise with the family of the deceased.

Divisional Scenes of Crime officers are continuing to examine the crime scene which remains sealed off.

Locals expressed shock about the passing of the young woman, with one elderly man calling it a “dreadful start to the New Year”.

He added: “What is the world coming to?”

- With additional reporting from Olivia Kelleher and Eoghan Dalton

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