'People shocked gruesome death could happen in our wee town'
"Who would do such a thing?"
This was the most common question being asked around the small Co Louth town of Ardee yesterday.
The town was reeling as details surrounding the death of local woman Elzbieta (Elizabeth) Piotrowska (57) emerged.
Facts started to filter through as darkness fell on Ardee.
Ms Piotrowska had lived in the town for around 10 years with her husband.
They had a son and a daughter. Efforts were being made yesterday to contact her daughter, and tell her the shocking news.
Flowers were brought to the scene last night by Richard Lynch, the landlord of the house in the Clonmore estate where Ms Piotrowska lived.
"We advertised the house seven years ago and they came on board.
"They seemed very, very genuine and down to earth people. We had no problem with them. You couldn't get better," he said.
"We were very shocked, I think it was more the gruesome way her life ended, that is the biggest shock.
"I think if it was a massive heart attack (she had died from) it was a huge shock, but the way it happened is unbelievable, you can't get over it.
"It was absolutely shocking, it doesn't bear thinking about. It is an awful tragedy," he said.
The estate is on the outskirts of the busy town and is a quiet residential area.
Parish priest Fr Brian Slater said most of his parishioners were shocked by the events.
He led prayers for Ms Piotrowska and her family at a prayer group meeting last night.
"A lot of people are in shock. They can't believe this is happening in their town, in sleepy wee Ardee," he said.
"They are looking for answers.
"All we can do at this time is pray for the deceased and the wider community.
"It is the worst beginning for a new year for the townsfolk," he added.