The body of the woman, named locally as Jean Scanlon, a single woman believed to be originally from Sutton, Dublin, was discovered in the hallway of a terraced house in Cork city shortly before 12.30am yesterday.
Neighbour Teddy Cronin said he was called to the house at 33 Roche’s Buildings by another man.
“I checked her pulse and I knew she was dead. She was a bit bruised in the face and there was blood on her face,” Mr Cronin said.
He said another man at the scene tried to resuscitate the woman, who was lying unconscious on the hallway floor, but he was unable to revive her.
Mr Cronin said the ambulance service was contacted and he then waited for them to arrive. Gardaí were quickly on the scene and spoke to a number of people who were in the area at the time. They sealed off the house and the immediate area in front of it. They then carried out house-to-house inquiries.
A team of garda forensic experts later examined the house and Ms Scanlon’s body was then taken to Cork University Hospital where State Pathologist Professor John Harbison carried out a post mortem examination.
Members of Ms Scanlon’s family travelled to Cork yesterday afternoon to formally identify her body.
Inspector Denis O’Shea, of Mayfield Garda Station, said gardaí were treating the death as suspicious but, as yet, had made no arrests. An incident room was set up at the nearby Watercourse Road Garda Station.
It is understood that Ms Scanlon had lived at the terraced house at Roche’s Buildings for the past 12 weeks. She had previously lived at other addresses in Cork, having moved from Dublin several years ago.
Locals described her as tall and elegant and said they had often seen her out walking. Neighbour Noreen Linane said people living in the area were very shocked.
“We were watching a repeat of the Queen Mother’s funeral on the television when the ambulance arrived; at the time I thought it may have come for an old man who lives up the road,” Mrs Linane said.
Her daughter, Rosaleen, said she often saw Ms Scanlon walking her dog.