Woman beaten to death in her home by man she knew well
A woman whose body was washed up on a Co Clare beach on Thursday was beaten to death in her home shortly after a night out with friends in a pub.
Gardai believe Deirdre McCarthy (43) was subjected to a violent attack by a local man she had known well for more than a decade.
Officers investigating her murder were last night following a definite line of inquiry as they awaited the results of a post-mortem by assistant state pathologist Dr Khalid Jabber at the Mid Western Regional Hospital in Limerick.
An initial examination indicated she had been beaten and possibly strangled.
Gardai have established that Ms McCarthy was dropped back to her home, Turlough House in Ballyvaughan, Co Clare, at 11.30pm on Sunday after socialising with a group of friends in a local pub.
She was alone in the house later when a man, known to her, called there.
Gardai are satisfied that she was killed in the house after a row and her body was then taken away in a car, sometime before 7am.
They believe the car headed along the Lisdoonvarna Road and Ms McCarthy's body was then dumped in the sea.
It was found washed ashore on Fanore Beach, about 15km from Ballyvaughan, on Thursday morning.
Gardai recovered her mobile phone on Wednesday during a search along the stretch of roadway leading from the house to the sea and think it was thrown out of the car by her killer.
Meanwhile. the village of Ballyvaughan was still reeling from the shock of Ms McCarthy's murder yesterday.
It was too much for most locals to bear as they shunned media invitations to talk about the hard-working 43-year-old single woman.
Ms McCarthy's sister Christina said that neither she nor any member of the family would be commenting on their horrendous loss. "I have nothing to say," she told the Irish Independent. Neighbours likewise were keeping their thoughts to themselves.
But one longtime resident of Ballyvaughan who knows the family said the discovery of Ms McCarthy's body on the beach at Fanore was "the worst ever".
Declining to be identified, he asked that the family would be left in peace.
Last night investigators appealed to anyone who travelled along that road between 11.30pm on Sunday and 7am on Monday to contact them.
Garda press officer Superintendent John Gilligan said yesterday a number of people had already come forward with information and they were appealing to others to make contact. He said they believed the answers to the investigation lay within the small community.
Gardai are expecting to spend the weekend analysing the post- mortem findings, as well as studying a report on the traffic on Ms McCarthy's mobile phone, particularly in the hours before her death, and examining the result of an examination on two cars that were seized during the week.
Officers are confident they will make significant progress over the next few days.
The search for Deirdre began on Monday evening after she had been reported missing and involved gardai, the Doolin and Killaloe units of the Irish Coast Guard as well as the Shannon- based rescue helicopter, teams from the Search and Rescue Dog Association of Ireland from Clare, Cork and Meathand members of the Irish Red Cross.
Ms McCarthy is survived by her mother Helen, brother Tom and sisters Helen, Christina, Bernie and Ann.
An incident room has been set up at Ennistymon Garda station and investigators there can be contacted at 065 7072180.