Monday 27 May 2019

Young mum found dead in home had rung gardaí for help

Mother of two: Jasmine McMonagle was found dead after an alleged attack at her home in Killygordon, Co Donegal
Mother of two: Jasmine McMonagle was found dead after an alleged attack at her home in Killygordon, Co Donegal
Garda forensics officers at the scene of the murder in Co Donegal. Photo: North West Newspix

Stephen Maguire

A young mother of two died after suffering suspected knife wounds in a vicious attack at her home in Co Donegal.

Jasmine McMonagle, an aspiring actress and model, was found dead at her home when elite members of the Garda's Regional Response Unit stormed the house in Killygordon in the early hours of yesterday morning.

Garda forensics officers at the scene of the murder in Co Donegal. Photo: North West Newspix
Garda forensics officers at the scene of the murder in Co Donegal. Photo: North West Newspix

The 27-year-old had contacted gardaí earlier to report a domestic disturbance at her home at Forest Park on the outskirts of the village.

Ms McMonagle shared the home with her partner.

Gardaí received the call from the distressed woman at 4.20am. However, when they arrived at 4.47am, they were refused entry to the house.

At this stage, there was an altercation and it is understood a garda was attacked. The Regional Response Unit was then called and the team arrived at the scene a short time later.

Young mother-of-two Jasmine McMonagle was found dead
Young mother-of-two Jasmine McMonagle was found dead

A man was arrested around 7.30am and taken to Letterkenny garda station.

The couple's two daughters, aged seven and one, were taken to be cared for by family members.

The arrested man was being treated by a psychiatrist at Letterkenny garda station last night.

He can be held for up to 48 hours.

Gardaí carried out door-to-door enquiries in the estate yesterday afternoon to determine if neighbours may have witnessed anything that may help the investigation.

Both the State pathologist Linda Mulligan and members of the Garda Technical Bureau from Dublin arrived at the scene yesterday.

At around 3pm the body of Ms McMonagle was removed to Letterkenny General Hospital.

Neighbours reacted with shock to the death of Ms McMonagle, who was originally from the Border town of Castlefinn.

Damian Scanlon, who lives directly across from the scene of the incident, said he was awoken by shouting and screaming at around 5am.

"There was a lot of Garda activity but I just thought it was a party or something so I went back to bed.

"I awoke again after 7am and this time I saw gardaí everywhere, including guys with shields and helmets.

"All of a sudden I saw them burst in the front door and then this fella came out and they were shouting at him to 'Get on the grass, get on the grass' or something like that.

"A while later I saw a garda taking a child out in his arms and I saw another child with another garda at the front door. It was all very dramatic and you just don't expect it to happen in your own estate."

Local county councillor Gary Doherty, who is from the same village as Ms McMonagle, said the incident was tragic.

"My deepest condolences go out to the family and friends of the young woman who has sadly lost her life so prematurely," he said.

Inspector Michael Harrison gave a brief statement outside Letterkenny garda station yesterday afternoon.

"A man in his twenties has been arrested and is currently being detained under the terms of Section 4 of the Criminal Justice Act, 1984," he said.

"At this stage of the investigation, I'm not in a position to answer any further questions or make any more statements," he added.

The man is expected to appear before a special sitting of Sligo District Court this evening at 8pm charged in connection with the case.

Irish Independent

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