Prisoner arrested over murder of Kerry granny Miriam Burns (75) is ‘chief suspect’

A murder probe was launched and as part of that investigation, gardaí detained a man for questioning at Cork Prison this morning.

The late Miriam Burns.

Robin Schiller and Paul

Detectives investigating the murder of Kerry grandmother Miriam Burns have arrested a prisoner as part of the inquiry.

Ms Burns (75), a mother-of-four, was found dead at her Killarney home on August 15. She had died violently following an assault.

A murder probe was launched and as part of that investigation gardaí detained a man for questioning at Cork Prison this morning.

He is currently being held at a garda station in the city and is being quizzed about the murder.

The inmate is serving a jail sentence for non-violent crime and was known to Miriam Burns.

He is understood to be considered the chief suspect in the murder probe and is being detained under Section 4 of the Criminal Justice Act 1984.

The 52-year-old can be questioned for a total of 24 hours before he must either be charged or released from garda custody pending a file to the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP).

Since the murder last August gardaí have been continuing to gather a large amount of evidence, including CCTV footage, DNA, data records and witness statements, prior to today's arrest.

In a statement gardaí confirmed the arrest this morning.

“Gardaí investigating the discovery of a body of a woman (aged in her 70s) in unexplained circumstances in Killarney, County Kerry on Monday, 15th August 2022, have arrested a man this morning, Wednesday 8th February 2023,” a garda spokesperson said.

“The man (aged in his 50s) is currently detained under Section 4 of the Criminal Justice Act, 1984 at a Garda station in Cork city.

“Investigations are ongoing.”

Mrs Burns was known as "Killarney's smiling lady" and was renowned in the area for her kindness and generosity.

She was discovered at lunchtime when a relative, who is based overseas, became concerned after he was unable to contact her.

The man rang an Ardshanavooly neighbour and he went with another neighbour to check on her welfare.

Both were shocked to see the grandmother lying lifeless in the front room and they immediately left the property and contacted the gardaí.

The death was immediately treated as suspicious given the visible injuries to Mrs Burns.

Gardaí sealed off the property and Assistant State Pathologist Dr Margaret Bolster conducted a post mortem examination at University Hospital Kerry (UHK) in Tralee.

Shortly after the post-mortem was concluded, gardaí confirmed that Mrs Burns death was being treated as murder.

Mrs Burns was renowned for her kindness and generosity.

There was no sign of a disturbance inside the house associated with a burglary.

The pensioner had apparently tried to defend herself from her attacker with signs of a struggle in the room.

However, she died from a violent assault in which she was both beaten and strangled.

Mrs Burns was discovered lying on her side with traces of blood around her face and mouth.

The last reported sighting of Mrs Burns - who was well-known in Killarney for cycling to events - was on the afternoon of August 12 last year.

Hundreds attended Mrs Burns' funeral service at St Mary's Cathedral on August 21 as a mark of the respect in which she was held by the Killarney community.

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