''Bad lad' | 

Miriam Burns murder suspect was a ‘ticking time bomb’ as gardai close in on killer

It is understood that detectives have made “major progress” with the technical investigation into the precise circumstances in which the 75-year-old was killed.

Miriam Burns was killed in her home, and gardai are convinced she knew killer

Gardai conducted house to house enquiries near the home of Miriam Burns

16-8-2022: Gardai at the home of Miriam Burns in Ard Shanavooly Estate Killarney on Tuesday. Photo: Don MacMonagle

Gerry Hand and Neil FetherstonhaughSunday World

The chief suspect in the murder grandmother Miriam Burns has been described by locals as a “bad lad” who was “a ticking time bomb”.

Gardai believe mum-of-four Miriam was beaten to death during a violent assault and an attempt had been made to strangle her.

It is understood that detectives have made “major progress” with the technical investigation into the precise circumstances in which the 75-year-old was killed.

Detectives hope to have the results of these critical forensic tests over the coming days and this will determine the course of the investigation.

Gardai believe tragic Miriam was murdered by someone known to her and identified a chief suspect, who was arrested this week. He was subsequently released without charge.

The suspect is believed to have “pestered” Miriam in the run up to her death.

One local source told the Sunday Worldthe arrested man has a reputation as someone “you would treat with a degree of caution”.

“The general feeling locally would be one of shock but no surprise he was always seen as a bad lad and, to be honest, a bit of a ticking time bomb.”

He added: “This guy was always one you would treat with a degree of caution. He was very much the black sheep of a very decent, law-abiding family”.

Gardai conducted house to house enquiries near the home of Miriam Burns

Gardai received reports of multiple sightings of the suspected killer around her home in the Ardshanavooly estate in Killarney, Co. Kerry, in the days before her death.

They now believe that the pensioner may have been pestered by the chief suspect in the case who, when problems arose because of the chaotic nature of his lifestyle, would often seek cash hand outs from the kind-hearted grandmother.

Gardai are also investigating indications that, on previous occasions when help was refused, threats were issued by the individual.

Gardai have obtained CCTV footage they believe has captured the chief suspect near Ms Burns’s home during the weekend before her body was found.

They fear that Ms Burns was dead for some time before the tragedy was uncovered last Monday afternoon.

Her body was discovered in the front room of her two-storey terraced home, lying on her side.

16-8-2022: Gardai at the home of Miriam Burns in Ard Shanavooly Estate Killarney on Tuesday. Photo: Don MacMonagle

Gardai have refused for operational reasons to release the results of the post-mortem examination that was conducted by assistant State pathologist Dr Margaret Bolster at University Hospital Kerry (UHK) on Tuesday.

Detectives are convinced Ms Burns knew her killer, and there was no sign of forced entry at the property – and there was no sign of a robbery.

Ms Burns’s requiem Mass took place at St Mary’s Cathedral in Killarney at 4pm on Sunday. Her funeral cortege arrived at St Mary’s Cathedral at 2.15pm with a private cremation to follow the requiem mass.

Meanwhile, a son of Ms Burns who appeared in court charged with stealing a car and failing to pay for fuel was remanded in custody overnight by a judge.

Gardai objected to bail in the case of 51-year-old Co. Kerry man Billy Burns, of no fixed abode.

Mr Burns is accused of unlawfully taking a car from an address in Killarney on October 3 last year, and is charged with theft of fuel at a Circle K filling station in Dublin the following day, October 4.


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