Woman found dead in flat is family’s second daughter to die
A FAMILY was last night struggling to come to terms with the loss of a second daughter in tragic circumstances.
The Ryan family from Drogheda, Co Louth, were being comforted by friends as they tried to cope with the grim news that their 37-year-old daughter, Mary, had been beaten to death.
A post-mortem examination found Ms Ryan had died of blunt force trauma to the head. She was found unconscious at the foot of the stairs in her home at Sherrard Street in Dublin's north inner city on Saturday. Gardai revealed last night she had been the victim of an assault and had received several blows to the head and to the body.
A 44-year-old man, who was arrested by gardai for questioning on Sunday afternoon, was still being held late last night.
The suspect was known to Ms Ryan.
He was detained at Mountjoy station under section 4 of the Criminal Justice Act and remained in custody while senior officers consulted with lawyers from the DPP's office.
Gardai were alerted about the incident on Saturday morning and Ms Ryan was rushed by ambulance to the Mater Hospital where she later died.
Initial inquiries were made at the house, which was closely checked by a forensic team. But gardai had to wait for the outcome of the post-mortem examination before deciding on their next move.
Ms Ryan was killed almost six years after her 20-year-old sister, Breda, died in mysterious and equally tragic circumstances. Breda was found unconscious and lying on the side of the main Drogheda to Slane road in the early hours of July 28, 2006.
The young mother, who had a one-year-old daughter at the time, never regained consciousness and died nine days later.
Yesterday, her mother Helen answered the door of the family home in Cedarfield, Drogheda, but said she did not want to comment on what had happened.
Helen's son Louis, who also lives in Drogheda, did not want to talk to the press either yesterday.
A garda spokesman said: "The investigation into Breda Ryan's death remains open, pending new information."
He said that Breda's death, "resulted in an exhaustive and protracted garda investigation and while the inquest brought in an open verdict, the investigation remains open."
Local councillor Paddy McQuillan said: "This is a terrible tragedy for any family to bear and our sympathies go out to the family and friends."