Tuesday 16 January 2018

Death of woman (23) in squat is treated as suspicious

Amy McCarthy. Photo: Provision
Amy McCarthy. Photo: Provision
Ralph Riegel

Ralph Riegel

Gardaí are treating as suspicious the death of a young woman found in a squat in a derelict building in Cork city.

The 23-year-old, named locally as Amy McCarthy, was discovered in the derelict premises off Sheares Street in Cork city centre early yesterday.

Ms McCarthy had been homeless for a time in Cork. Despite desperate attempts to revive her, she was pronounced dead at the scene before she could be transferred to Mercy University Hospital (MUH).

The scene was sealed off by gardaí for a forensic and technical examination. Members of the Garda Technical Bureau attended yesterday evening.

The Office of the State Pathologist was notified and Assistant State Pathologist Dr Margaret Bolster later examined the upstairs room where Ms McCarthy was found.

A full post-mortem examination will be conducted at Cork University Hospital (CUH) today, as well as detailed toxicology tests.

Gardaí stressed the nature of their investigation will be determined by the post-mortem findings. Detectives are currently keeping an open mind.

It is understood a number of people had been living at the squat over recent days. The premises had been vacant for a period of months and it is suspected up to four people, including the deceased, gained access to the building via hoardings which were partially pulled off a downstairs window.

Read more: 'You had a beautiful heart' - Tributes paid to young mum found dead in Cork

Ms McCarthy's body was discovered in an upstairs room in the three-storey property.

Several of those visiting the squat are known to have accessed homeless support services in the Cork area. A number of those who frequented the squat are also known to have suffered from serious alcohol and drug addiction problems.

One of those with Ms McCarthy raised the alarm at 7am yesterday when they were unable to wake her.

Gardaí are now hoping to speak to anyone who may have had access to the building over the past few days, with several preliminary statements already taken from those found at the property or its vicinity.

Officers believed Ms McCarthy had been living at the squat for less than 48 hours. A group is believed to have gained access late on Friday night or early Saturday.

Irish Independent

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