herald

Monday 29 May 2017

Man arrested as young mum-of-one dies from 'serious head injuries'

Mum Rita Apine
Mum Rita Apine
Gardai at the scene

Gardai were last night quizzing a man over the violent death of a young mother found in her home with serious head injuries.

One line of investigation is that the victim, named locally as mother-of-one Rita Apine (29), from Freshford, Co Kilkenny, may have been pushed down the stairs.

Ms Apine is understood to have been living here for a number of years, after emigrating from Eastern Europe.

The 30-year-old man, who is known to the victim, was arrested yesterday afternoon and was last night detained at Kilkenny Garda Station.

Gardai were alerted to the shocking incident by the ambulance service, which had received an emergency call to attend the home.

Tragic

It is understood the emergency services administered CPR to Ms Apine at the scene and she was initially responsive, but had been critically injured and died some time later at St Luke's Hospital in Kilkenny.

The incident was initially believed to have been a tragic fall.

However, investigators decided that foul play may have taken place following a review of Ms Apine's injuries, and after a suspicious account was given to what happened earlier in the Freshford property.

At around the time of Ms Apine's death, a 30-year-old Eastern European national was arrested and was being questioned at Kilkenny Garda Station.

Ms Apine and her partner had moved into the apartment on Bridge Street last year.

"It's a major shock locally here," local Fianna Fail councillor Michael McCarthy said.

"This is just a quiet, rural village and everybody here knows each other.

"Something like this is totally out of character, nothing like this should happen in this locality."

Mr McCarthy said he knew the victim to see, but not by name, and would often see her or her partner in the area in the mornings.

"Bridge Street is quiet area," he said. "There are a few apartments there and, like all apartments, people come and go.

"It's very, very sad. It's just really shocking in this area because it's such a small rural village. The community is in shock," he added.

The man is being held at Kilkenny Garda Station, where he can be detained for up to 24 hours for questioning.

Last night, the scene at the house was sealed off and was undergoing a forensic technical examination.

The office of the State Pathologist has been notified and a post-mortem examination will be carried out.

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