THE uncle of a young mother of two children who was stabbed to death in a frenzied knife attack over the weekend has spoken of his "deep sadness" that she died in the "prime of her life".
Anna Finnegan (26) died after suffering several stab wounds at her home in Allendale Glen, Blanchardstown in northwest Dublin, while her children were sleeping in an upstairs bedroom.
Her brother, Karl, believed to be in his 30s, was also stabbed a number of times by the same attacker. He was taken to nearby James Connolly Hospital, Blanchardstown where he remained last night. However, his injuries are not believed to be life-threatening.
Last night, Anna's shocked uncle John Finnegan told the Irish Independent: "All I know is that she was a lovely girl. She was a wonderful sister and she had two lovely brothers. Their mother and father are dead; it's just dreadful and hard to believe what happened."
Mr Finnegan, who lives in Finglas with his wife, recalled how Anna was when she was a little child. "My memories of her are when she just a small baby -- she was such a lovely, sweet child.
"I'm in my 70s so while we did talk to her and her siblings, we don't see them all that often. I'm just feeling deep sadness; it's very difficult for me to even talk about it at the moment. She was in the prime of her life."
The frenzied attack happened after the suspect called to Ms Finnegan's semi-detached home on Friday evening while she was inside talking with her brother.
A heated argument broke out some time later and the caller produced a knife before brutally stabbing the young mother repeatedly in the chest.
Her brother was also stabbed a number of times after he attempted to wrestle the attacker to the ground and prise the knife from his hand.
Her children, Billy (nine months) and Lulaluleta (two-and-a-half) were asleep in an upstairs bedroom but were unharmed. The killer then carried Anna's body to a Ford Focus hatchback outside the house before driving to James Connolly Hospital's A&E department, where he dumped her body. The car was recovered in Dundalk by gardai yesterday.
Anna had been granted a barring order against her killer one week before her death. Family members said yesterday that she had been living in fear and had gone to court in an effort to keep the killer away from her.
It is understood that he called her a short time before the stabbing.
Gardai received an emergency 999 call shortly before 9pm, and when they arrived at the scene they found her brother bleeding profusely from stab wounds sustained in the attack.
A man was arrested on Saturday night and is being detained in Blanchardstown garda station under Section 4 of the Criminal Justice Act. He is understood to have walked in voluntarily to a garda station in Cabra, Dublin, on Saturday.
He is expected to be charged in relation to the stabbing at a court hearing this morning.
Yesterday a garda maintained a constant vigil outside the terraced house in the leafy residential cul de sac where Anna had been living.
A garda cordon sealed off the area around the house, stretching three houses in either direction and neighbours were unable to return to their homes while an intense forensics examination was carried out at the scene.