IT would take very little these days to leave the small community of Lordship on edge.
Swiftly, news spread by word of mouth about the discovery of a burnt-out car, containing the charred remains of a person, just kilometres from where Detective Garda Adrian Donohoe was shot dead.
The sad discovery of the car on a headland at Giles Quay, around 5km from Lordship, Co Louth, caused people to ponder if there might have been a connection with the recent killing.
Yet, as the hours passed it became evident there was no connection. This latest discovery could only be considered an extremely sad tragedy, involving the death of a mother of three.
The 50-year-old woman from Dundalk town had driven out to Giles Quay at teatime on Thursday in her father-in-law's car.
Initial forensic examination of the car has indicated that a fire started in the vehicle and it burst into flames when a petrol can exploded.
A post-mortem of the body will be carried out today by deputy state pathologist, Dr Khalid Jabbar. It is expected to conclude that the woman died from extensive burns.
Gardai said last night they were treating the death as a personal tragedy.
Just after midday, Fr Tommy McNulty, the parish priest on the Cooley Peninsula, said prayers beside the burnt-out car containing the woman's body.
"Naturally you would be wondering until you hear something. It was going all sorts of directions," Fr McNulty said.
"It is a nervous area lately since the killing of the garda. You are just waiting and wondering."
The woman's family became concerned when she did not return after borrowing the car.
They reported her disappearance early yesterday morning.