Gardai investigate confirmed murder of mother
GARDAI in Kilkenny last night launched a murder investigation into the death of a 51-year-old mother of five, following a post mortem on her body.
Siobhan Stapleton was found with serious injuries in the yard of her and her husband's idyllic country cottage, just outside Thomastown, shortly after 3pm on Friday.
She was rushed by ambulance to St Luke's Hospital in Kilkenny, but died before she could be transferred to Beaumont Hospital in Dublin.
While the post mortem on Mrs Stapleton's body got under way shortly after 2pm in Dublin, her home in Kilkenny remained sealed off as members of the garda forensic team combed the grounds surrounding it for evidence. Mrs Stapleton's death is being treated as suspicious.
Once they obtained the results of the post mortem, gardai upgraded enquiries to a murder investigation.
A neighbour who spoke to the Sunday Independent said they had seen an unfamiliar car near the Stapletons' house on Friday afternoon but had not paid sufficient attention to note its occupants. The same neighbour said they heard sirens a short time later, but presumed they were from emergency services on the way to a medical emergency.
Mrs Stapleton's husband, Peter, is said to be completely distraught and was being comforted by relatives last night.
The couple -- parents to four daughters and one son -- were said by neighbours to have married young and been devoted to each other since.
Originally from Sugarstown in Co Waterford, Mr and Mrs Stapleton moved to Thomastown in Kilkenny a number of years ago and bought the former gate lodge to the Glebe, a well-known period residence located on the outskirts of the town.
While Mrs Stapleton is understood to have trained to be a nurse, neighbours described her as a stay-at-home mother. Her husband Peter is a plumber by trade.
Asked what the Stapletons were like as neighbours and as a couple, one local said: "They were very, very close. They married young and were absolutely perfect together.
"You wouldn't see them out and about that much. They had everything they needed to be happy at home."