Man arrested after woman found dead in flat

Detectives investigating the murder of Natalie McGuinness in Sligo yesterday believe that despite a man brandishing a knife at the scene, the victim may have been strangled, not stabbed.

The 23 year-old died shortly after gardaí went to a block of flats in Mailcoach Road in the town following reports of a violent altercation at approximately 10.30am.

When they got there, officers encountered a man who was carrying a knife.

It is believed he had suffered stab wounds. He was in a distressed state and members of the Sligo Regional Support Unit were forced to Taser him.

Ms McGuinness was found in the apartment.

Both she and the man were taken to Sligo Regional Hospital for medical attention.

Ms McGuinness was declared dead shortly after 11am.

Natalie McGuinness, 23, who was found dead in Sligo yesterday.
Natalie McGuinness, 23, who was found dead in Sligo yesterday.

The scene was preserved for technical examination. Professor Marie Cassidy, the state pathologist, last night performed an autopsy on the woman’s remains.

Last night, gardaí confirmed a 33-year-old man had been arrested in connection with the killing and was being held at Sligo Garda Station under Section 4 of the Criminal Justice Act.

It is understood the man had heavy bandages covering head injuries when he arrived at the Garda station.

Ms McGuinness was the eldest daughter of a family from the Easkey area of west county Sligo.

Her father John Joe is a farm labourer and her mother Catherine has worked in pubs in west Sligo. It is understood Ms McGuinness worked in a local supermarket and had studied early childhood education at Ballinode College.

Local councillor Michael Clarke, who knew the family well, said: “The area is devastated by this tragedy. They are a lovely family — the salt of the earth.”

He described the victim as “a beautiful woman, just like a model”.

Ann Cawley, who lives in the area,

said she knew nothing of the incident until she spotted two ambulances and gardaí across the street.

She added: “A young couple were living there and I saw them sometimes but I never knew their names. They seemed to be a quite ordinary couple.”

Sligo town councillor Declan Bree said: “It’s mainly a settled community on that road which is one of the main routes into the centre of the town.

“It’s a very stressful event and my sympathy goes out to the family and other relatives of the dead woman.”

Friends and relatives of Ms McGuinness last night took to social media to express their shock and sadness at her violent death.

“Absolutely shocked and devastated by losing you Natalie,” wrote one. “You where [sic] one of the most bubbliest and fun loving people this world has ever meet and u will be sorely missed. Until we meet again, rest in peace”.

  • Gardaí have launched a murder investigation and anyone with information can contact Sligo Garda Station on 071 9157000.


Not all trends are created equal. Some are exciting – like first-date butterflies; others are comforting – like ice-cream and Golden Girls reruns.Trend of the Week: Floral free for all

Veterinary medicine is a demanding career, leading to mental health problems for some vets.Elephant in the clinic: Helpline offers support to vets with mental health difficulties

Bonnie Ryan couldn’t be happier.On a roll: Why Bonnie Ryan couldn't be happier

From Ireland to America and fashion to homeswares, designer Helen James is developing interiors products for the high street with an emphasis on sustainability, beauty and function, writes Carol O’CallaghanConsider this: Meet Helen James

More From The Irish Examiner