Tributes paid as foul play suspected in death of Killarney pensioner

'She was a fabulous lady. She would talk to anyone and she would talk all day'
Tributes paid as foul play suspected in death of Killarney pensioner

Ms Burns was found in a room in her house in circumstances that raised concern and the scene was sealed off.

Gardaí suspect foul play in the death of a woman, 75, who was found at her home in Co Kerry.

The woman's body was found with unexplained injuries at Ardshanavooley, Killarney, at around 1.15pm on Monday.

She has been named locally as Miriam Burns. Family abroad were worried they had not heard from the mother of four.

She is survived by two sons and two daughters. It is understood she had not been seen since Friday evening.

Gardaí will decide today whether to upgrade the probe to a murder investigation following a post-mortem examination. Her body remained at the scene this morning, awaiting the state pathologist.

In a statement, gardaí confirmed that the woman's body was found at Ardshanavooley, Killarney at approximately 1.15pm on Monday. Picture: Don MacMonagle
In a statement, gardaí confirmed that the woman's body was found at Ardshanavooley, Killarney at approximately 1.15pm on Monday. Picture: Don MacMonagle

Ardshanavooley is a mature and close-knit estate on the eastern edge of Killarney town centre. Neighbours and residents were shocked and upset at the discovery of the woman's body.

“She was always cheerful and friendly, and always well-dressed and perfectly turned out and you would see her cycling,” one neighbour said.

Another resident said he was "not in the better of the news" and was deeply upset at her death.

A garda source said the woman had not been seen for some days and that neighbours had raised the alarm.

“Neighbours became concerned and alerted the gardaí,” a senior garda confirmed.

Ms Burns was found in a room in her house in circumstances that raised concern and the scene was sealed off. However, the garda stressed the circumstances were unexplained.

'A fabulous lady'

Tributes have been paid to the 75-year-old with local councillor Niall O’Callaghan saying: "She was a fabulous lady. She would talk to anyone and she would talk all day.” 

“It is very sad for the people of Ardshanavooley. It is very sad for the family,” Mr O’Callaghan added.

Killarney councillor Donal Grady has described Ms Burns as “a lovely, bubbly woman who was everyone’s friend.” 

Speaking on RTÉ radio’s News at One, Mr Grady said that Ms Burns had a very pleasant way about her and that her death would be “an awful loss” to the town of Killarney.

“She was everyone’s friend. We are all in bits, we’re devastated.” 

People were absolutely shocked at the news of her death and the circumstances, he added.

Cllr Grady said it was his understanding that one of Ms Burns’ sons had telephoned a neighbour to ask them to check on his mother as he had not heard from her for a few days. It was then that the grim discovery was made and the neighbour called the gardaí.

We will remember her as a woman who was always in good humour. She always had a broad smile and was everybody’s friend. She was very popular, a bouncy girl. She may have been 75 but she looked 50.

“She was a beautiful woman, a lovely lady.”

The body remains at the scene which is currently preserved to allow for a technical examination to be conducted, confirmed a garda spokesperson.

"The office of the State Pathologist have been notified," it was added.

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