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Thursday 19 July 2018

Gardai extend time they can question man held in mum of two murder probe

Mother of two Brigid Maguire
Mother of two Brigid Maguire
A garda at the house in Ballynacargy, Co Westmeath, where her body was found

Robin Schiller and Emma Jane Hade

Gardai have extended the amount of time they can question a man they arrested in connection with the murder of a mother of two.

The woman has been named locally as Brigid Maguire, a 43-year-old care assistant from Main Street, Ballynacargy, Co Westmeath.

The body of the young mother is understood to have been found by her teenage daughter at around 9.30pm on Saturday and she raised the alarm.

Gardaí and emergency services were alerted and Ms Maguire's remains were transferred to the Midlands Regional Hospital in Mullingar and later to the hospital in Tullamore, Co Offaly, where a post-mortem was carried out yesterday.

The results of that post-mortem, which was performed by Deputy State Pathologist Dr Linda Mulligan, were not being released for operational reasons.

However, it is understood Ms Maguire had not suffered any clearly visible signs of trauma to her body.

A garda at the house in Ballynacargy, Co Westmeath, where her body was found
A garda at the house in Ballynacargy, Co Westmeath, where her body was found

Gardaí last night confirmed the death was being treated as suspicious and classed the probe as a murder investigation.

A 53-year-old man was arrested in Mullingar and was last night being detained at the town's garda station under the provisions of Section 4 of the Criminal Justice Act.

Gardai have now extended the amount of time they can question the man, which means he can be questioned up to lunchtime tomorrow.

Gardaí carried out searches and performed door-to-door inquiries surrounding the location yesterday.

A garda spokesman has appealed for anyone who may have seen anything unusual or suspicious in or around the Ballynacargy area between 5pm and 10pm on Saturday to contact Mullingar Garda Station on 044 9384000.

Locals last night expressed their shock at the news, with Fianna Fáil TD Robert Troy, who lives in the town, describing Ms Maguire as "a proud mother" and "a hard worker".

"I knew the lady well. Our community is deeply shocked at the untimely death of a young, vibrant woman, who worked hard, was a good mother, a good family person and we are really very shocked," Mr Troy told the Irish Independent.

"Our condolences and our thoughts and our prayers are with her family, her son and daughter, and her extended family, brothers and sisters," he added.

"It just goes to show you how precious life is.

"She was a very, very proud mother. Her children were the apple of her eye. She was an exceptionally good lady. It's just a premature end to a good life," he added.

Local councillor Jonnie Penrose, who knew Ms Maguire well, said the community was numbed following news of her death. "I knew her well, the community is deeply shocked. She was a hard-working woman. The community is in shock, numb. My condolence goes to the family," he added.

Meanwhile, friends of Ms Maguire left tributes on social media. One friend wrote: "Can't get your smile out of my head, less than 24 hours before God took you as one of his angels we were having the craic."

Irish Independent

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