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Sunday 25 February 2018

Known associates of suspect in Rosie Hanrahan murder investigation tracked by gardaí

Rosie Hanrahan. Photo: Liam Burke / Press 22
Rosie Hanrahan. Photo: Liam Burke / Press 22
Ralph Riegel

Ralph Riegel

Known associates of the East European suspect in the Rosie Hanrahan murder investigation are being traced overseas in a bid to reveal his whereabouts.

The man, who fled Limerick in the 24 hours after the widow's murder on December 15, is now believed to be hiding under a false identity in either France or Italy.

However, gardaí are convinced the man, who has convictions for sexual offences in Eastern Europe, will need support from either criminal associates or old friends as he fled Ireland with few assets.

Now, detectives are liaising via Interpol and Europol with police in France, Italy and other countries in a bid to determine where the man travelled having left Ireland by ferry. He is understood to have arrived in a French port on December 17/18.

CCTV footage has so far been unable to reveal his onward destination, though he is likely to be relying on public transport.

He is not believed to have returned to his native country amid fears of being recognised.

Detectives suspect the man may be attempting to "stay lost" in a major city in France or Italy.

Gardaí are convinced the man must be receiving support from former associates - and hope that by their European police colleagues tracing those known associates, the whereabouts of the individual can be uncovered.

The man has been linked to the Thomondgate home in Limerick of Ms Hanrahan (78) by forensic tests.

Gardaí obtained a significant amount of forensic data from a painstaking analysis of the Thomondgate cottage by Garda Technical Bureau staff.

Several thousand hours of CCTV security camera footage has also been studied while gardaí have spoken to 1,900 people as part of their investigation.

In a unique development, members of Limerick's criminal underworld have also assisted gardaí with information.

Detectives believe the man fled Ireland within 24 hours of the murder, which occurred after a burglary went tragically wrong. Ms Hanrahan was found by relatives after she had been tied up and then strangled. Her home had also been ransacked.

Gardaí first want to confirm the suspect's location and then obtain, via European police colleagues, a DNA sample which will be used to cross-reference with forensic samples obtained from the home.

Anyone with information is asked to contact investigating Mayorstone gardaí on (061) 456980 or (1800) 666111.

Irish Independent

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