Gardaí to question man in connection with Cork death probe

The house in Passage West in which 36-year-old Olivia Dunlea O'Brien died.Picture: Des Barry, Irish Examiner

Gardaí will this morning begin questioning a 35-year-old man about the alleged murder of a mother of three whose body was found following a house fire at her home in Co Cork yesterday.

Detectives arrested the man at 11pm last night for questioning about the killing of 36-year-old Olivia Dunlea O'Brien at her home in Pembroke Crescent, in Passage West.

Gardaí initially believed she died following a fire at the two storey semi-detached house which she shared with her three children.

However gardaí became suspicious after technical experts found two seats of the fire during a forensic examination of the scene.

A post mortem carried out by State Pathologist Dr Marie Cassidy subsequently revealed she died as a result of stab wounds.

Last night's arrest came after gardaí upgraded their inquiry from one of suspicious death to murder.

One seat of the fire was downstairs and the other was upstairs where firefighters recovered the body of the woman from the main bedroom which was badly damaged.

Ms Dunlea O Brien was separated and her three children, two boys and a girl, were staying with their father when she was fatally assaulted and the house set alight.

Gardaí are expected to begin questioning a 35-year-old man in connection with her death this morning.

He was arrested at his home in Passage West under Section 4 of the Criminal Justice Act last night and can be held for up to 24 hours before being released or charged.

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