Man arrested after mother of four killed in family home
A YOUNG man was being questioned by gardai last night after a mother of four was stabbed to death in a domestic incident.
The tragedy, which took place in the parish of Islandeady, near Castlebar -- less than two kilometres from the new Taoiseach's birthplace -- rocked the rural Mayo community when it was in the throes of celebration following Enda Kenny's election
The victim was named locally last night as Noreen Kelly Eadon (46). A separated mother, she lived with three of her four children in a remote two-storey farmhouse at the end of a long boreen in the townland of Derrycrieve.
She was stabbed in the head and beaten early yesterday morning.
Her 16-year-old son raised the alarm and gardai found her bloodsoaked body in her bedroom around 1.40am.
Six hours later, gardai arrested a 21-year-old man at the rear of a house less than two kilometres away, in the townland of Corha, five kilometres from Castlebar.
The suspect, who was said to be in a very distressed state, was detained under section four of the Criminal Justice Act and taken to Castlebar garda station for questioning.
He was later transferred to hospital for psychological tests, before being returned to the garda station.
The suspect can be held without charge for a maximum of 24 hours, excluding rest periods.
Deputy State Pathologist Dr Michael Curtis arrived at the scene last night and carried out a preliminary examination before the body was moved to Mayo General Hospital in Castlebar.
A post-mortem examination got under way last night.
Gardai from the technical bureau made a detailed forensic check of the scene. A number of items were taken away for further tests but gardai were not certain that these included the murder weapon.
Teams of gardai equipped with slash hooks spent the day searching adjoining fields and bogland for the weapon, which is believed to be a knife.
The victim, who is originally from Kilmeena, near Westport, had been living in the Islandeady area for about 20 years but was said by locals to keep to herself. She had previously run the 'Fairtrade' shop in Castlebar for a brief period.
Her eldest son, Oisin (23) is living in Australia, while her other sons Celyn (21), Ferdia (16) and daughter Saoirse (6) live in the family home. It is understood that the youngest child was staying with family in Westport last night.
The village was almost deserted yesterday, as most of the residents had travelled in a fleet of buses to Dublin to celebrate the inauguration of local man Enda Kenny as Taoiseach.
Speaking outside the Dail yesterday, parish priest Fr Pat Donnellan said there was a sense of devastation in Islandeady.
"On the one hand, the community is celebrating and on the other there is a young mother dead.
"We all feel deeply for the family," he said.
Close to the scene, one neighbour fought back tears as she described how she had learned of the tragedy.
"I heard it this morning at Mass and I couldn't believe it. On the lovely day that's in it for Enda, we have this on our doorstep. It is just so sad."
The woman, who did not wish to be named, said she had only known the victim to see.
"She was a lovely, quiet lady who kept to herself and just did her own thing. All we can do is pray.
"I have actually cried at two things together this morning. I've just been listening to Enda's speech. We are so proud of him -- but then this," she said.
In Corha, a man, who had spoken to the victim just two days ago, said everyone was still in a state of disbelief.
"It is a shocking tragedy. It should have been the biggest day ever here, with Enda being made Taoiseach, but everyone is just in a state of shock."