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Dublin: 1 °C Wednesday 26 February, 2020

Two years on, nobody has been charged over the murder of this Limerick woman

A garda investigation into the murder of Rose Hanrahan (78) is following a definite line of enquiry.

Rose Hanrahan
Rose Hanrahan

THE SECURING OF CCTV cameras for a community, left in fear following the discovery two years ago today of the body of a murdered widow pensioner, were “too long” in coming, according to a local Sinn Fein Councillor.

Rose Hanrahan, 78, was found strangled in her home, on New Road, Thomondgate, Limerick city, on 15 December 2017.

No one has been charged with the murder, however after a mammoth garda investigation, which spread into mainland Europe, gardaí are following a definitive line of enquiry, according to sources.

Rose was killed, gardaí believe, during a break-in at her home.

It’s understood the main suspect, who is not local to Limerick, fled to France, and was hiding out in some part of eastern Europe.

Gardaí have continued to liaise with the global police organisation Interpol, as part of their investigations.

Speaking today, on the second anniversary of Rose Hanrahan’s killing, friend and neighbour John Costelloe said CCTV cameras were installed on the pensioner’s street, near her home, “two weeks ago”, to “reassure” frightened elderly residents their neighbourhood was being closely monitored.

Costelloe, a local Sinn Fein Councillor, said: “Following Rose’s murder a lot of people approached me to see if we could pursue the avenue of more cameras in the area. I know it’s a bit too late, but at the same time it reassures a lot of the elderly people living in the area.”

“Eventually after two years we got them up. It took too long,” he said.

“The cameras are monitored in Moyross in a state of the art unit. The Council run it. They are 360 degree cameras so they have full view of all of the (area).”

He said: “Rose was a real gentle soul, a great neighbour, very chatty. I had spoken to her a few days before her murder, she was a lovely lady, and very well-liked in the area.”

The nature of her death was “just awful”, he continued.

“I knew her personally and I actually lived around the corner from her for twenty years, so I had a very personal relationship with her and her late husband Michael.”

Costelloe said he has asked gardai to set up a local cold case unit to examine a number of unsolved murders in the Limerick Garda Division, however speaking in Limerick last Thursday, the Garda Commissioner said any cold case unit would be a “national resource” but that local gardaí would carry out “peer reviews” of outstanding cases which may then become subject to “serious crime reviews”.

Speaking today, Costelloe said: “Two years on people are very frustrated that the killer or killers haven’t been apprehended. (Rose’s) house is idle and it is just eerie when you pass it. We need closure on this and we need justice.”

A candle lit prayer meeting organised by Ms Hanrahan’s neighbours will be held in memory of the popular pensioner, outside her home, at 7pm Monday night.

Gardaí have been contacted for comment.

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David Raleigh

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