Thursday 27 April 2017

Second man (44) arrested as part of investigation into Nicola Collins murder

Nicola Collins who was found dead in Cork
Nicola Collins who was found dead in Cork

Ralph Riegel and Cathal McMahon

A second man has been arrested as part of the investigation into the murder of Nicola Collins.

The 44-year-old man was arrested in Limerick city and transferred to Mayfield Garda Station in Cork.

He is detained under the provisions of Section 4-Criminal Justice Act 1984 and can be held for 24 hours.

Independent.ie has learned that he is being questioned on suspicion of withholding information about the attack.

The arrest came just 24 hours after another man in his 40s was released without charge after being questioned for a day in connection with the murder.

The man, who was known to the deceased, was arrested at the scene on Popham’s Road, Farranree, Cork where Ms Collins body was found.

The man’s questioning couldn’t commence until lunchtime on Monday for medical reasons.

He was questioned throughout Monday evening over the precise circumstances of Ms Collins death.

The man, who is originally from Charleville in north Cork but has been resident in Cork city over recent years, was released without charge from Mayfield Garda Station yesterday morning.

A file will now be prepared for the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP).

Friends and neighbours of Ms Collins were deeply worried about her welfare over recent weeks.

One Cork neighbour described Ms Collins as “a bit vulnerable” – and said people living near her on Clashduv Road in Togher were very concerned if they didn’t see her for several days at her flat.

“You would be worried for her. People knew she had her own problems. I suppose you could say that she might have been a bit vulnerable,” he said.

“Neighbours would tend to keep an eye out for her to make sure everything was OK.”

Clashduv neighbours were also aware that Ms Collins was spending a lot of time in Farranree on the other side of Cork city over recent times as part of her social life.

Locals described her as a friendly, quiet and private person.

They were appalled at the news the mother of three had died from horrific head and neck injuries after being subjected to a sustained assault last Monday.

Gardaí confirmed they are treating Ms Collins death as murder after a post mortem examination at Cork University Hospital (CUH) by Assistant State Pathologist Dr Margaret Bolster confirmed she met a violent death.

While the post mortem results are not being released for operational reasons, Ms Collins died from severe head and neck injuries.

The injuries are consistent with the young mother having been subjected to a prolonged and savage assault.

Supt Michael Comyn again appealed for anyone who may have seen Ms Collins over the course of Mother’s Day (Sunday) to contact them.

Detectives are trying to piece together Ms Collins last movements on Mother’s Day before she arrived at the Popham’s Road flat.

Garda Technical Bureau experts yesterday completed a painstaking forensic and technical examination of the flat.

Uniformed Gardaí also continued door to door inquiries to determine if anyone in the Popham's Road area had seen or heard anything suspicious on Sunday evening.

The flat involved is located less than 30 metres from the busy Popham's Road post office.

CCTV security camera footage from local business premises is expected to play a critical role in the investigation.

Locals said Cork Fire Brigade attended a reported blaze at the flat involved a number of weeks ago.

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