Inquest adjourned as gardaí hunt killer

As the Garda hunt for the killer of an elderly Limerick woman last Christmas continues, her inquest was adjourned yesterday.

Inquest adjourned as gardaí hunt killer

By Jimmy Woulfe

As the Garda hunt for the killer of an elderly Limerick woman last Christmas continues, her inquest was adjourned yesterday.

The body of 78-year-old Rose Hanrahan was discovered in her bungalow, at New Rd, Thomondgate, on December 15, 2017, after relatives became concerned.

Ms Hanrahan, a widow, lived alone.

Gardaí have not disclosed how she died, but it is understood she was strangled.

The chief suspect, believed to be from Eastern Europe, has not been tracked down. Gardaí suspect he may have taken a ferry to France.

Gardaí are liaising with Interpol and Europol as they hunt for the killer.

Investigators are said to be using facial recognition technology across Europe to try to identify the suspect’s location.

It is understood Ms Hanrahan was attacked and murdered during a botched attempted robbery at her home.

It is believed gardaí have identified her killer on CCTV, and more than 1,300 people have been interviewed as part of the investigation.

A forensic analysis of clothing, as well as human DNA, was carried out at Ms Hanrahan’s home.

Gardaí would not comment on reports that they have CCTV footage of the killer stalking Ms Hanrahan while she did her shopping at a supermarket in Limerick on the day she died.

Gardaí believe the killer was after her ATM card passcode and may have followed her to her home.

At yesterday’s hearing, Limerick City coroner John McNamara told Ms Hanrahan’s two sisters who were present: “I know it is difficult for any family to come to inquests, to hear details surrounding the death of a loved one.”

Inspector Paul Reidy, Henry Street Garda Station, formally requested the inquest be adjourned, pending the results of a murder investigation.

“There is a criminal investigation ongoing at the moment,” said Insp Reidy.

Mr McNamara explained that, under the Coroner’s Act, he was obliged to adjourn the hearing.

He told Ms Hanrahan’s family: “We don’t want to give evidence that might have an impact on, or compromise, the ongoing Garda investigation.

“I’m sorry I don’t have an exact date for you. We’ll have to wait until there are developments in the Garda investigation.”

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