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Man assisting in violent death inquiry tries to take his own life

A MAN who was assisting the garda investigation into the violent death of Co Clare guesthouse worker Deirdre McCarthy is recovering in hospital after attempting to take his own life.

The man was rushed to hospital by ambulance on Friday night. It is understood that the man slit his own wrists and is recovering in hospital in Galway.

The incident occurred just hours after gardai confirmed that Ms McCarthy had died a violent death. It is understood that detectives spoke to the man at his hospital bedside yesterday morning.

The body of Ms McCarthy, 43, from Ballyvaughan, was washed up on Fanore beach last Thursday. She was last seen on Sunday night and was reported missing on Monday.

It has emerged that her mobile phone has provided gardai with crucial clues as to her final hours. Phone records suggest she exchanged text messages with another person who wanted to meet on the night she died.

The signal from the phone was lost at 4.58 last Monday morning. Detectives found her phone last Wednesday near the sea some two miles from Fanore beach.

Gardai have not yet mounted a full murder inquiry as they are still awaiting the results of the post mortem.

Ms McCarthy, who was single, worked for many years in Turlough House in the popular tourist town. She was last seen alive last Sunday night, when she socialised with friends in a local pub. They dropped her home at 11.30pm.

Gardai are satisfied that she had gone into her house; the clothes she was wearing in the pub were in her bedroom. Friends also told detectives that she was afraid of the dark and would not have gone out again alone.

Gardai now believe that Ms McCarthy died "as a result of violence" between 11.30pm and 7am. They believe her body may have been removed from her home under cover of darkness and dumped in the sea. She was due to start work at 10am on Monday and was reported missing later that afternoon.

Superintendent John Gilligan, the garda press officer, said: "We are asking people to come forward so we can find out exactly what happened."

He said they were looking for information about "a car, or more than one car" which "would have passed up and down before or around 7am".

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Ms McCarthy is survived by her mother, Helen, her brother, Tom and her four sisters, Helen, Christina, Bernie and Ann. Anyone with information is asked to contact Ennistymon garda station at 065 707 2180.

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