Rose (78) was murdered at home after disturbing burglar
An elderly widow is believed to have been murdered after she confronted a burglar in her Limerick home.
The body of Rose Hanrahan was discovered by her sister Evelyn and Evelyn's husband Jim Kenny, last Friday.
A detailed Garda forensic examination of the home of the 78-year-old will continue for another couple of days in a bid to identify her attacker.
Gardai are not disclosing the results of a post mortem examination on her body for operational reasons.
But it is understood she was killed after disturbing a burglar in the front room of her home at New Road in Thomondgate, Limerick, where she had lived for 40 years.
A broken window at the rear of her house was being examined for fingerprints last night to determine if it had been used by the burglar to gain entry.
Mrs Hanrahan, who had lived alone at the property since the death of her husband, Michael, almost five years ago, did not have a house alarm but gardai have been studying footage from CCTV cameras in the area.
The death was initially described as suspicious although there were no marks on Mrs Hanrahan's body.
But it was officially upgraded to a murder inquiry by the officer leading the Garda investigation, Supt Derek Smart, after the post mortem, carried out by deputy State pathologist Dr Michael Curtis confirmed Mrs Hanrahan had died violently.
Over the weekend, gardai tried to allay the fears of other elderly people living in the area and patrols by local officers in Thomondgate were stepped up.
Gardai said it was not immediately clear if anything had been taken from the house.
Her sister Helen Carmody said at the weekend that one theory is the criminals panicked when they discovered her sitting up in her pyjamas and watching TV and may have attempted to restrain her.
Former detective Sean Lynch, who is Mayor of the Metropolitan District of Limerick, and chairman of the local Joint Policing Committee, issued this warning to anyone protecting the killer or killers: "Don't shield them. There are repercussions there for people that are shielding (criminals), or that had information that would lead to the early arrests or the solving of this case."
"I'm appealing to them, don't be foolish in shielding them, or keep information that would help solve this crime," he added.
Lynch also appealed to Mrs Hanrahan's killer to "come forward sooner rather than later".
Rose's heartbroken sister Helen hopes CCTV in the area may result in a breakthrough in the case saying: "I'm putting my faith in the cameras, I'm in a daze. She's going to be a big loss to all of us. I will miss her dreadfully."