Saturday 24 February 2018

Man jumps off cliff after woman found dead in her home

A MAN jumped to his death from a 300 foot cliff last night hours after a woman was found dead in a house in suspicious circumstances.

It is believed the woman may have been strangled. The double tragedy happened in Co Kerry yesterday after gardai discovered the body of a Polish woman believed to be in her 20s at a rented house in the Deerpark Estate in Tralee.

Gardai later began negotiating with a man, believed to be her partner, who had threatened to throw himself off a cliff in Ballybunion.

The woman, who has not yet been formally identified, was named locally as mother of one, Katarzyna Barowiak, a Polish national. Ms Barowiak's body was found in an upstairs room of the house at 3pm yesterday.

They found the woman's body with a two-year-old boy nearby. The child has now been taken into care by the Health Service Executive (HSE).

Gardai are today expected to launch a murder inquiry.

Emergency services arrived at the house after a 999 call and forced their way in. The State pathologist's office was notified along with the Garda technical bureau and the scene was sealed off.

Gardai later went to Ballybunion about 28km from Tralee where a man, from Benin in West Africa, was threatening to throw himself off a cliff. Officers began neogitations in a bid to persaude him not to jump. Members of the Armed Response Unit were also at the scene. But he later jumped off the 300ft cliff into the sea below.

A Coast Guard search and rescue helicopter from Shannon was scrambled and began a shorline search for the man. The search was called off late last night and resumes this morning. Assistant state pathologist Dr Margaret Bolster completed a preliminary examination at the house last night. It is understood there were no obvious signs of trauma on the body.

Ms Barowiak's remains are to be removed to Kerry General Hospital for a post mortem examination at 9am today.

Last night shocked neighbours of Ms Barowiak were coming to terms with the tragic events of yesterday afternoon.

Her next-door neighbour Shahadat Hossain, who is originally from Bangladesh, said he knew Ms Barowiak to see and often chatted to her when they met but he didn't know her well.

"I was very shocked to hear what had happened. My wife and I left our house at around 12.30pm and returned at 2.30pm," Mr Hossain said.

"About 10 minutes later the police were knocking on the door and we were very surprised. I had not heard anything."

Another neighbour, who did not wish to be indentified, said he had been very friendly with 'Catherine' and her boyfriend, who was known as 'Snoop'.

"Catherine was a lovely woman, very friendly and I'm shocked to hear what has happened to her," he said.

The neighbour said he had socialised regularly with Ms Barowiak and her boyfriend but of late he had noticed that he (Snoop) had become "distant" and hadn't returned any of his phone calls.

"I thought it was just me but then I discussed it with other friends who said the same thing," he said.

Irish Independent

Promoted Links

Today's news headlines, directly to your inbox every morning.

Promoted Links

Editor's Choice

Also in Irish News