Neighbours remember murdered pensioner Rose Hanrahan ahead of funeral

By David Raleigh

A special candlelit prayer ceremony is expected to take place tomorrow night in Thomondgate near the home of murdered pensioner Rose Hanrahan.

Rose's removal took place this evening ahead of the funeral at St Munchin's Church tomorrow morning.

Among family and friends in attendance were Fianna Fáil TD and friend of Rose, Willie O'Dea as well as Superintendent Derek Smart, lead investigating office and Detective Inspector Dermot O'Connor, both of Henry Street Garda Station.

Pic: Liam Burke Press 22

Rose’s body was found in her home by family members last Friday, December 15.

The special tribute is being organised by neighbours as they try to process her sudden and brutal end.

Officials have appealed for calm within the community following the tragic incident.

Rose’s next door neighbours Patricia and Paddy Hayes were numb with grief when they spoke ahead of her funeral tomorrow.

Patricia, visibly distraught, says: “I didn’t hear anything from (next door). I was sick all the week. Maybe she did roar out, but I didn’t hear, because I spent most of my time asleep."

“It won’t be the same going out my front door. I’m going to miss her terrible.

"It’s not going to be the same, because I know Rose will never be there again," she says wiping away tears.

Rose Hanrahan

Paddy and Patricia described how over the past five years since Rose’s husband Michael passed away from a long term illness, Rose had left flowers at his grave every Saturday, just as Michael had brought her flowers every Wednesday, when he was alive.

Paddy says: “Every week she used to go up to her husband’s grave in Meelick. Every Saturday she was up there with flowers for him.”

“He used to bring her flowers every Wednesday morning, and she repaid him with flowers every Saturday at his grave.”

Like the rest of the close-knit community, Patricia and Paddy are shell-shocked at Rose’s murder.

Patricia, pausing to look at the growing floral tributes left by neighbours and friends outside Rose’s red front door, says: “She was always happy, she always had a smile on her face. We won’t see that anymore.”

Meanwhile, the man leading the hunt for Rose’s killer has warned against vigilante groups forming to exact their own personal revenge for Rose’s brutal killing.

Superintendent Derek Smart advised those considering it to step back, and let gardaí proceed with a "lawful investigation".

"Don’t take the law into your own hands. Doing so is not going to assist us in any way," Smart said.

"People should come to us if they have information. We are following up every lead or snippet. If we are to bring those responsible to justice it has to happen within the law," he added.

Gardaí have not commented on reports she was tied up, beaten, and strangled, during a break-in at her home.

Fr Donal McNamara, PP, St Munchins, who will officiate at Rose’s funeral tomorrow, had also appealed for calm in the seething community.

“I have never met people so angry. What’s getting to them is no one has been (arrested) yet,” he said.

Fr McNamara said he has personally advised people “not to go down that road” of vigilantism.

“There is a lot of ill feeling, and fear. The sooner someone is caught for this, the better; for Rose’s family, for her neighbours, and for the community,” he added.

“There is an awful lot of anger about the place," Fr McNamara said.

“I knew Rose well. This is awful, just desperate.”

Fr McNamara said Rose’s family were “distraught”.

"They’re trying to keep it together," he said.

A note left by a neighbour

Supt Smart and Limerick’s detective force are well versed in hunting down serious criminals.

Under the watch of Chief Supt David Sheahan, gardaí have kept a lid on gun crime, as well securing scores of convictions in serious gangland cases.

Every available garda in the division is involved in the Hanrahan murder probe.

All day today, gardaí maintained a check point outside Rose Hanrahan’s home, where they recorded vehicle licence plates, and sought out dash cam footage from motorists who may have traveled through along New Road, Thomondagte, between Thursday and Friday of last week.

Smart said officers were trawling through “hundreds of hours" of CCTV footage from around the area.

Ms Hanrahan’s remains are reposing at Griffin’s undertakers, Pennywell, today, before her removal to St Munchin’s Church for 11.30am funeral mass tomorrow.

Anyone with information about the murder is asked to contact 061-212400 or the Garda Confidential Line on 1800-666-111.


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