Monday 16 July 2018

'A fun-loving friend who wore her heart on her sleeve' - Tributes paid to French woman stabbed to death in Dublin home

  • French woman stabbed to death at home
  • Victim's partner hospitalised with life-threatening stab wounds
  • Chief suspect is known to her, gardaí believe
  • Gardaí probe possibility murder was pre-meditated
  • Tributes: 'Anne was such a kind, fun-loving friend who wore her heart on her sleeve'
Anne Colomines (37) was murdered during a domestic dispute at the flat in Dorset Square, Dublin 1 on Tuesday night.
Anne Colomines (37) was murdered during a domestic dispute at the flat in Dorset Square, Dublin 1 on Tuesday night.
Anne Colomines was found murdered at a flat in Dorset Square, Dublin 1
Forensic gardai at the scene of a murder investigation at Dorset Square
Gardai at the scene of a murder investigation at Dorset Square
Scene of the fatal stabbing of a female in an apartment block Dorset Square on Gardiner St Dublin. Photo: Kyran O'Brien
Scene of the fatal stabbing of a female in an apartment block Dorset Square on Gardiner St Dublin. Photo: Kyran O'Brien
Scene of the fatal stabbing of a female in an apartment block Dorset Square on Gardiner St Dublin. Photo: Kyran O'Brien
Gardai investigate a murder at a property on Gardiner Street in Dublin. Picture: Arthur Carron
Gardai investigate a murder at a property on Gardiner Street in Dublin. Picture: Arthur Carron
Gardai investigate a murder at a property on Gardiner Street in Dublin. Picture: Arthur Carron
Gardai investigate a murder at a property on Gardiner Street in Dublin. Picture: Arthur Carron
Emergency services are at the scene at Mountjoy Square

Robin Schiller, Conor Feehan and Sasha Brady

Tributes have been paid to the French finance worker who was stabbed to death in her Dublin city apartment on Tuesday.

Anne Colomines (37) was murdered during a domestic dispute at the flat in Dorset Square, Dublin 1 on Tuesday night. Her husband, Brazilian national Renato Gehlen (37), also suffered knife wounds to his chest.

A close friend and former colleague of the Ms Colomines told Independent.ie that she was a "kind and fun-loving friend".

"She was a very kind person. At work, she was very hardworking and always happy to help others. Everyone who knew her would say the same. I didn't know anyone who disliked her.

"Anne spent a lot of time volunteering with homeless cats. She loved her cat, Kitty, with all her heart.

"She was quiet and worked a lot but enjoyed going out for dinner with friends. Her friends and her family made her really happy.

"Anne was such a kind, fun-loving friend who wore her heart on her sleeve. She'll be missed so much."

Gardaí believe that the French finance worker was stabbed to death by a person known to her.

Gardai at Dorset Square, Dublin 1. Photo: Colin Keegan / Collins Dublin
Gardai at Dorset Square, Dublin 1. Photo: Colin Keegan / Collins Dublin

The Irish Independent has learned that the chief suspect in the woman's callous killing dialled 999 operators in the aftermath of Ms Colomines' death and made admissions in relation to the crime.

"Emergency services were alerted to the incident by an individual admitting to the killing, saying that he had killed the young woman," a senior source said.

Ms Colomines, from Saintes in southwest France, worked as a senior financial agent with the Dublin office of a multi-national company.

Preliminary investigations have established how Ms Colomines was stabbed several times in the body, in what gardaí believe was a frenzied attack.

Victim Anne Colomines
Victim Anne Colomines

The French woman also received a knife wound to the neck, and investigators are probing the possibility that her murder was premeditated.

Mr Gehlen was also discovered by emergency services at the scene with life-threatening knife wounds. He was rushed to the Mater Hospital and underwent emergency surgery yesterday morning.

Investigators are anxious to speak to Mr Gehlen in the hope that he can shed light on the circumstances surrounding his wife's death.

Last night he was still being treated for a knife wound to his chest, and had not yet been medically cleared to speak with detectives.

"The surviving man will prove crucial to garda inquiries and will be able to help detectives to establish what happened in that house," a source said.

Gardaí were alerted to the incident at around 11.30pm on Tuesday night, as a number of Dublin Fire Brigade crews also rushed to the scene.

Ms Colomines was pronounced dead in the property. A knife, believed to be the weapon used in the killing, was recovered in the aftermath.

A full murder investigation has been launched by detectives at Mountjoy Garda Station, who are appealing for anyone with information in relation to the killing to come forward.

It is understood that the murder victim had been living and working in Ireland for some time, and was based with a Dublin company over the past five years.

She has been described as an animal lover and frequently refers to Phibsboro Cat Rescue charity on her social media account.

The store confirmed that she had been in touch with them in the past with a view to volunteering with them and carrying out fundraising activities.

"She was a really kind lady. We are very sad to hear what has happened," said a spokeswoman for the charity.

While members of the garda technical bureau carried out a forensic examination of the scene yesterday morning, a representative of the Dublin Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals was called to the scene and later left with a cat in a basket.

The scene at the Dorset Square apartments remained sealed off throughout yesterday and gardai arrived early to carry out an examination of the apartment.

Residents leaving early for work said they did not know what had happened and were shocked to wake yesterday morning and find gardaí on the premises.

Irish Independent

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