Murder probe after mother is found dead in her home
Gardaí have launched a murder probe following the discovery of the body of a mother in her home.
The woman has been named locally as Brigid Maguire, a 43-year-old care assistant from Ballynacargy, Co Westmeath.
The body of the mother of two 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 after the discovery was made and her remains were transferred to the Midlands Regional Hospital in Mullingar.
The remains of Ms Maguire were later transferred to the Midland Regional Hospital in Tullamore in Co Offaly where a post-mortem was carried out yesterday.
The scene was also sealed off to allow for a technical examination to be conducted.
Gardaí last night confirmed the death was being treated as suspicious and classed the probe as a murder investigation.
Gardaí carried out searches and performed door-to-door inquiries surrounding the location yesterday evening.
The post-mortem was carried out by Deputy State Pathologist Dr Linda Mulligan.
The results of the post-mortem were not being made known by gardaí last night.
However, it is understood Ms Maguire had not suffered any clearly visible signs of trauma to her body.
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, described how the local community was in a state of shock following news of her death.
"I knew her well, the community is deeply shocked. She was a hard-working woman.
"There are two kids without a parent this morning, an 18-year-old and a 13-year-old. The community is in shock, numb.
"My condolence goes to the family," she added.
Meanwhile, friends of Ms Maguire left tribute messages on her social media account last night.
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."