The body of Mary (Mamie) Walsh, a mother of two, from Glendalligan, Lemybrien, Co Waterford, was found in her blue Hyundai coupé at Cathal Brugha Street, near the Mount Sion GAA grounds in Waterford, shortly after 2pm yesterday.
She had been missing since she left her home at around 9am last Monday. Ms Walsh had been in possession of a sum of money, believed to be close to €10,000, in connection with her job at a credit corporation and which she intended to lodge in a bank that day.
Gardaí wish to speak with a male employee of the same company who lived in a rented house in Fews, near Lemybrien. It is understood gardaí searched a house in the area and made contact with the man, who later said he would meet gardaí at Kilmacthomas Garda Station. He failed to keep the appointment and gardaí launched a full-scale search for the man, who is believed to be Scottish.
Concern for Ms Walsh’s welfare mounted on Monday when she could not be contacted and an appeal was launched on local radio.
Gardaí, acting on a tip-off, discovered her car, which was later taken to Tramore garda station where officers forced the boot open and found her body inside. She had a number of neck and facial injuries. The car will be forensically examined this morning.
A post-mortem examination was carried out late last night by State Pathologist Dr Marie Cassidy at Waterford Regional Hospital.
Gardaí said Ms Walsh was the victim of a vicious assault. With the money she had in her possession also unaccounted for, they said a motive of robbery could not be ruled out.
Up to 60 concerned locals in the Lemybrien and Kilrossanty areas carried out their own search on Tuesday afternoon, concentrating their efforts on Kilclooney Wood, which is close to the house at Fews where the man wanted for garda questioning lived.
Last night, Ms Walsh’s neighbour Tony Coffey said she had been a “lovely lady, quiet, and unassuming, who lived for and loved her husband and family”.
Ms Walsh’s husband, Pa Walsh, a former Kilrossanty and Waterford senior footballer, and his two daughters were being comforted by relatives and friends last night.