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Life sentence Man jailed for horrific murder of pensioner Rose Hanrahan was on run from British police

At the time of the killing that shocked Ireland, Iordache and his brother Eugen were wanted in the UK in connection with a series of thefts

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Serial thief Alexandru Iordache (46), a native of Dreptatii in Bucharest, Romania, received the mandatory life sentence.

Serial thief Alexandru Iordache (46), a native of Dreptatii in Bucharest, Romania, received the mandatory life sentence.

Serial thief Alexandru Iordache (46), a native of Dreptatii in Bucharest, Romania, received the mandatory life sentence.

The Romanian man who is beginning a life sentence this week for the horrific murder of pensioner Rose Hanrahan was on the run from British police when he killed her, it has emerged. 

Serial thief Alexandru Iordache (46), a native of Dreptatii in Bucharest, Romania, received the mandatory life sentence after he killed the “kind and generous woman who was loved by all who knew her”.

He had earlier pleaded guilty to the murder of the 78-year-old widow at her home in New Street, Thomondgate, Limerick in December 2017.

At the time of the killing that shocked Ireland, Iordache and his brother Eugen were on the run from the UK in connection with a series of thefts in the south of England.

In March 2018, Sussex Police issued an appeal for information about the whereabouts of Iordache and his brother after the pair had failed to answer bail in connection with an attempted car theft in Newhaven in July 2016.

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At the time of the killing that shocked Ireland, Iordache and his brother Eugen (pictured) were on the run from the UK in connection with a series of thefts.

At the time of the killing that shocked Ireland, Iordache and his brother Eugen (pictured) were on the run from the UK in connection with a series of thefts.

At the time of the killing that shocked Ireland, Iordache and his brother Eugen (pictured) were on the run from the UK in connection with a series of thefts.

The appeal said it was thought they had been in Ireland at the start of 2018.

The pair had appeared at Lewes Crown Court, giving a Doncaster address.

Both admitted the attempted theft of a woman’s bag in Newhaven in July 2016 plus another attempted theft.

Iordache received a 12-month jail term, rendering him liable to deportation, while Eugen got eight months, suspended for two years.

Iordache was eventually extradited to Ireland on January 16, 2020, and gardai arrested him at Dublin Airport and charged him with Ms Hanrahan’s murder.

On Tuesday, Iordache told the Central Criminal Court he “feels sorry for what he did” after pleading guilty to the murder of the Limerick pensioner.

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Speaking outside the Central Criminal Court on behalf of the family after Iordache received the mandatory life sentence for his crime, Mrs Hanrahan’s niece, Avril Kenny, said that it was down to the “impeccable’ work” of Limerick gardai.

Ms Kenny said that her aunt was a kind and generous woman, loved by all who knew her.

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Rose was described as a kind and generous woman who was loved by all who knew her. 

Rose was described as a kind and generous woman who was loved by all who knew her. 

Rose was described as a kind and generous woman who was loved by all who knew her. 

“It’s been an extremely difficult three and a half years for her family and friends, waiting for the person responsible for her death to be held accountable,” she said.

“Alexandru Iordache targeted a vulnerable, elderly widow, with no ability to defend herself. His sentencing today doesn’t give us any reprieve from the pain and sorrow he caused, but it is at least a relief to know that he will never be able to hurt anyone again,” she remarked.

“It is down to the impeccable work performed by the Limerick gardai that Alexandru Iordache is now serving a life sentence,” said Ms Kenny.

“The extensive work carried out by the investigating team ensured that no stone was left unturned and every aspect of this case was performed meticulously.”

She said that the family was extremely grateful to all involved in the case for their dedication and expertise.

“This investigation was a team effort involving a large number of gardai, and we are grateful to each and every one,” she said.

She offered particularly thanks to Chief Superintendent Derek Smart, Superintendent Dermot O’Connor, Inspector Jimmy Ruddle, Detective Enda Haugh and family liaison officer Garda Loretta Cregan.

“They demonstrated an immense amount of compassion, kindness and understanding throughout the investigation and legal proceedings,” she said.

“They assured that we were constantly updated on developments. Their reassurance and support got us through many tough times with the confidence that this day would come. We will be forever grateful to them all.”

The family also thanked the prosecution team, including Senior Counsel Anne-Marie Lawlor and State solicitor Catherine Fanning.

“Finally, we would like to say how grateful we are to the community of Thomandgate and the wider Limerick community for their support throughout the investigation and in memory of Rosie,” she added.

“Vigils have been organised and cards and messages received that have provided us with a lot of comfort. We will always find consolation in knowing that she continues to be remembered so fondly by so many.”

Superintendent Dermot O’Connor also spoke outside the court after the sentencing.

“The tragic sequence of events, which unfolded in Thomandgate in Limerick in December 2017 has left a family traumatised and has left a community in shock,” he noted.

Iordache had no ties to the community and Superintendent O’Connor said that today’s successful outcome had come about as a result of a massive garda investigation.

“I would like to take this opportunity to thank the investigation team of Limerick Gardai for their professionalism and expertise and above all for their absolute determination to solve this crime and bring Rose Hanrahan’s killer to justice,” he said.

“We would also like to thank the people in Limerick for their support and assistance throughout our investigation.”

He said that the investigation team had received tremendous support from various national garda units, State agencies, Interpol and Europol, as well as mutual assistance from various police forces internationally. He thanked the police forces of Romania and the United Kingdom in particular.

“All played a crucial role in solving this crime,” he said.

“We hope that today’s result… helps bring some closure to the family of Rose Hanrahan, and also provides reassurance to the community in which she lived, a community in which she was so highly regarded and so dearly loved,” he concluded.

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