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Man arrested in connection with murder of Miriam Burns (75) released without charge


The late Miriam Burns

The late Miriam Burns

Gardaí searching a location near the Wishing Well on Ross Road in Killarney.

Gardaí searching a location near the Wishing Well on Ross Road in Killarney.

The scene at Ardshanavooley. Photo by Tatyana McGough. Inset: Miriam Burns.

The scene at Ardshanavooley. Photo by Tatyana McGough. Inset: Miriam Burns.


The late Miriam Burns


The man arrested by Gardaí in connection with their investigation into Miriam Burns’ murder has now been released without charge. A file will be prepared for the DPP

The man in his 50s had been  arrested on Tuesday evening and was detained at Killarney Garda Station under the provisions of Section 4 of the Criminal Justice Act, 1984 until this afternoon when he was released without charge in relation to the death of the Killarney woman. However, he is liaising with gardaí on a another matter. 

Yesterday the man was was brought by guards to land near the Wishing Well – close to Ross Road, Killarney – as part of their ongoing inquiries.

The man’s solicitor, Padraig O'Connell, accompanied them.

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They also went to a site near Ross Castle as part of the investigation into Ms Burns’ murder. Gardaí were attempting to recover clothing at the sites.

The body of Miriam Burns was found in the living room of her home on Monday afternoon.

Neighbours were contacted by one of her sons, who lives abroad and became concerned about her whereabouts. They entered the house and found her injured body in the living room.

A post-mortem took place on Tuesday at University Hospital Kerry (UHK), and a murder investigation has begun. Gardaí believe she knew her killer.

It is understood that Miriam had not been seen since Friday, and on Monday the alarm was raised. Neighbours alerted emergency services and, tragically, the woman was pronounced dead at the scene.

The woman is understood to have injuries not believed to be consistent with a fall. The deceased was found with blood visible around her head.

The scene was immediately shut off, and Garda Forensic Investigators arrived to the house soon after and began their examination of the property where the woman was found.

On Monday night, her body was removed to University Hospital Kerry (UHK), and on Tuesday a post-mortem was carried out by the State pathologist Dr Margot Bolster. The results of this are not being released for operational reasons. 

Gardaí are carrying out door-to-door enquiries and CCTV footage is being examined in the course of their investigation. 

 No full arrangements have yet been made for the much loved grandmother and mother. 

Shock has surged through Killarney and the close-knit community of Ardshanavooley, where Miriam was a familiar face, always cycling on her bike, with a big smile on her face and a wave for all.

A wonderful mother, she was devoted to her four children – Shane, Sharon, Natalie and Billy – some of whom now live abroad and must make their way home amid the tragic news.

Cllr Donal Grady, who lives in the estate, has paid tribute to Miriam, whom he knew personally and described as a fantastic mother.

“I knew her very well. I often spoke to her...She comes from a highly respected family and she herself is highly respected here in Ardshanavooley. She was a much-loved neighbour, always smiling and so kind to all,” he said.

“She has lived here since the ‘70s and she has brothers and sisters in Killarney. She was a familiar sight on her bike, always cycling around.

“We are all shocked here. This is a terrible tragedy.”

Her neighbour, Ann Cronin, said it was “a desperate tragedy” for the estate, the family and the entire Killarney community: 

“She really was a lovely person. She was very good to her family, her friends and her neighbours.

“Everyone feels desperate, to be honest.”

Neighbour Paul O’Shea fought back tears at the news of her death.
“It is terrible, really terrible,” he said.

“She was a lovely, lovely lady. She had a kind word for everyone she met.

“It is hurting.”

Tom Wharton, who lived in Ardshanavooly for seven years, said Mrs Burns always had a wave and a warm smile for neighbours.

“It is such a sad, sad story,” he said.

“It is a desperate thing to happen, especially to such a nice lady.”

Councillor Niall ‘Botty’ O’Callaghan said it was a sad day for Killarney.

“Miriam has a large extended family in Killarney, and they are really fabulous people. They are very well known and highly respected in the town. Our thoughts and prayers go out to them.

“Miriam was a lovely lady and you’d see her cycling up and down the town. She was a fabulous lady, always smiling and [had] a warm wave to anyone she met. She loved talking to people and she would chat all day.”

Miriam Burns née Kelliehr has brothers and sisters living locally, including Seanie Kelliher, who is involved with Spa GAA.

Mayor of Killarney, Niall Kelleher, did not know the deceased personally, but he said her death marks a sad day for the town of Killarney and for a community who loved her.

“It is devastating to hear of her death. It is a shock for the town of Killarney,” he said.

Miriam provided home help, though she had retired. Again, her care for those she looked after was praised, and she went above and beyond during her time in this occupation.

Gardaí are appealing for any persons who were in the Ardshanavooley area of Killarney between 5pm on Friday,  August 12, 2022, and 1pm on Monday,  August 15, 2022, and observed any activity which drew their attention, to come forward.

Any road users who were travelling in the area at these times who may have camera footage (including dash-cam) are asked to make this footage available to Gardaí.

Anyone with information is asked to contact Killarney Garda Station on 064 6671160, the Garda Confidential Line on 1800 666 111, or any Garda Station.