Wednesday 19 September 2018

Woman (42) found in Dublin apartment died of 'natural causes'

Picture: Deborah Holmes
Picture: Deborah Holmes

Ken Foy and Conor Feehan

The death of a 42-year-old Dublin woman who was found with a head injury in a Rathmines flat is not being treated as a homicide.

Gardai yesterday ruled out foul play in the case after getting the results of a post-mortem on the body of Deborah Holmes.

The injury that the tragic woman suffered to the back of her head is consistent with a fall rather than an assault.

It is understood that Ms Holmes had suffered from severe underlying health issues which may also have been a factor in her death.

A massive garda investigation took place after she was found dead in her home on Rathmines Avenue at 12.40pm on Tuesday.

However senior sources say that Ms Holmes’ death is no longer being treated as suspicious.

As part of the probe, detectives had been examining an argument which Ms Holmes had with another female but this female is not a suspect in the case.

Ms Holmes was last seen alive at 12.30pm on Christmas Day and she is believed to have died a number of hours after this.

“Gardai do not believe that the cause of this woman’s death is due to any criminal act,” a senior source said last night.

“She had severe health difficulties which certainly contributed to her death,” the source added.

At the flats where Deborah was found, two gardai stood outside the door of number 33, preserving the scene.

The council complex is split into four blocks on Rathmines Avenue, just yards from Rathmines garda station.

Gardai carried out door to door enquiries in the flat blocks, and different garda vehicles arrived and then left as more resources were brought in to investigate Debbie’s last movements.

“I knew her to see, but we keep to ourselves in here and don’t live in each other’s pockets, so I don’t know much about Debbie,” said one resident in a comment that was repeated by others in the flats.

“We would see her come and leave, she was here around two years,” the man added.

While the results of the post mortem were being awaited, people were anxious to find out why Debbie had died.

There was no sign of a forced entry at the flat, and people did not want to believe that anyone could have killed Debbie.

“It’s a sad loss regardless, to be found dead like that just after Christmas, but I hope she didn’t have a violent death,” said a close neighbour.

Debbie comes from an extended family that live in the Rathmines and Ranelagh area, but relatives did not wish to comment when approached yesterday afternoon.

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