Gardaí appeal for information after woman drowns in river

GARDAÍ were last night continuing to investigate the circumstances surrounding the drowning of a 54-year-old mother of four in Cork’s River Lee.

Marion O’Leary, a resident of the Simon Community in Cork, is believed to have drowned in the river sometime during the early hours of yesterday morning.

Gardaí received a call at about 4am yesterday morning saying that Ms O’Leary had gone into the river. The gardaí sealed off the areas around Kennedy Quay and Albert Quay, opposite the Clarion Hotel.

It is believed that the victim, who was originally from St Anthony’s Road, Gurranabraher, had been drinking in the area with other people.

Gardaí called the naval service for assistance and shortly after 9.30am naval divers from the Haulbowline base discovered her body in the river near the Silver Springs Hotel.

Divers brought her body to Kennedy Quay, where they handed it over to gardaí.

The body was then removed to Cork University Hospital where a postmortem was carried out by Assistant State Pathologist, Dr Margaret Bolster.

The postmortem confirmed Ms O’Leary died from drowning. Gardaí are awaiting the results of toxicology tests.

A witness saw a man and a woman drinking just yards from Carey’s Tool Hire on Kennedy Quay at about 12.05am yesterday.

Forensic experts carried out an detailed examination of the area.

While gardaí have said they are not treating the death as murder they are still trying to find out if Ms O’Leary fell into the river or was accidently knocked in by somebody else. Some of her friends said Ms O’Leary couldn’t swim.

Superintendent Michael Finn, who is leading the investigation, said a man had been helping gardaí with their inquiries, although he stressed he had not been arrested.

Gardaí are anxious to speak to anybody who was in the Albert Quay/ Kennedy Quay area between 11.30pm and 4am yesterday and who saw anything suspicious.

An incident room has been set up at Anglesea Street Garda Station. Anybody with information is asked to contact 021 4552200.

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