Gardai 'anxious' to speak with couple after woman (50s) found with serious injuries on grounds of castle
A woman discovered with serious injuries on the grounds of a castle lay unconscious for up to nine hours, gardaí believe.
Independent.ie has learned that gardaí now believe the woman, aged in her 50s, was attacked at approximately 4am on Sunday morning.
However she was not discovered until shortly after 1pm in bushes on the grounds of Pollerton Castle near the centre of Carlow town.
The victim, who is well-known in the area, was rushed to St Luke's Hospital in Kilkenny with serious head injuries and she remains in a serious condition today.
Investigating gardaí are particularly anxious to speak to a male and female couple who were walking in the area at the times already stated.
A senior source said: "This was a very serous assault and gardaí are desperate for help. This woman had no known enemies and there was no known threat to her."
Detectives have established that the victim was in contact with her daughter at approximately 2.30am and was close to her home at this time.
Gardaí believe that assault took place at approximately 4am.
They have not been able to speak to the victim and are unable to establish a clear motive for the incident.
"This was a seemingly random attack. There are no other incidents that would appear to be connected to it."
The man who discovered the unconscious woman told today's Irish independent that he was still in shock.
"I was told not to comment on what I had seen, but I just hope that this woman is OK.
"We're all very shocked here," he said.
Gardaí hope images from the castle's CCTV footage will help their investigation.
Superintendent Gerry Redmond said they are especially keen to speak with any taxi drivers, delivery workers or anyone who may have been travelling in the area with dash cameras to contact them in Carlow.
He said they are focused on the Pollerton Road, Staplestown Road and St Patrick's Avenue area of the town.
Local councillor Jim Deane said he was very distressed by the news.
"I haven't heard a whole lot about what happened, but many people around the town are talking about this awful incident.
"Whatever the circumstances are it's truly a horrific thing to have happened. The castle is located in a very beautiful area of Carlow and is not too far away from the main town."
Cllr Deane said he hoped gardaí would bring swift justice to whoever was responsible for the assault.
"It's a very distressing situation for everyone. I hope this poor, unfortunate girl who is the victim of this assault makes a speedy recovery.
"I also hope gardaí will bring the person who did this to her to justice fast."
The local councillor added that an assault of this type was "unheard of" in the Pollerton area of Carlow.
Investigating gardaí are currently appealing for anyone who was in the area in the early hours of yesterday to contact them.
A statement from gardaí read: "Gardaí wish to appeal for witnesses and in particular to anyone who travelled on Staplestown Road, St Patrick's Avenue or Pollerton Road between the hours of 2am and 5am to contact them.
"In addition, gardaí are appealing to any drivers of vehicles that may have travelled these roads between the above times and have footage from dash cams to contact them at Carlow garda station on 059-9136620, the Garda confidential telephone line 1800 666 111 or any garda station."