‘Streets not safe for women’ – brother of woman murdered in Limerick speaks out after latest killing
• Yesterday 18:35
The brother of a woman who was murdered in Limerick in 2007 today visited the scene of another death and implored others not to turn a blind eye to violence against women.
A young woman in her 20s, originally from Romania, was found stabbed to death in one of a dozen apartments at Riverdock House, Dock Road, around 1.30pm on Tuesday. Gardaí this evening formally upgraded their investigation to a murder probe.
Sixteen years ago, Sylvia Roche Kelly was beaten and strangled in the Clarion Hotel (renamed the Clayton Hotel), which is located adjacent to the building.
Yesterday her brother Ger Bourke (41) said: “What is going on in our community, people are saying this is shocking but this is a common occurrence. My sister was murdered in the Clarion Hotel, Grainne Dillon was murdered in Jury’s Inn (close by) a few years back (2002).”
Mr Bourke also highlighted the unrelated suspicious death of Louise Muckell, who died following a fatal assault in July 2022.
None of the killings are linked, however Mr Bourke said he was highlighting the murders of women in the area in order to raise awareness about the increasing dangers faced by women.
“What is going on (in society)?,” asked Mr Bourke.
“Sylvia Roche Kelly was my sister – You never think it is going to visit your own door, but it has gone to the stage where women are not safe walking our streets, they really aren’t.
“I suppose the only thing you could do is try and look out for each other. If you see someone who looks like they are in trouble, don’t turn your head and walk away, try and help them.
“Particularly women, if you think they are being abused or it looks like they are in imminent danger maybe try and stop and help them instead of turning your head and looking the other way – there is too much off that going on in society.
“People tell you you shouldn’t get involved, but I will. You just don’t want to see it happen to somebody else.
“I won’t lie to you, when I saw this on the news I said to myself, ‘I hope it is not another member of my family’. Here is another family now and they will never get over it, a young girl (lost) again.
“The (perpetrator) is not caught yet, which is even worse because it means the public are in danger,” he added.
Gardai investigating Tuesday’s fatal stabbing have conducted sweeping searches of the Dock Road and O’Curry Street area in the hunt for the weapon used in the fatal attack.
Search teams combed through drains, surveyed rooftops, yards and gardens, in the hope of finding evidence which may lead them to the killer.
Gardai were also studying CCTV footage from nearby shops, flats and commercial businesses, to try to trace the movements of a man seen sporting a makeshift bandage on one of his hands around the time of the killing.
The man was seen entering a local shop, washing his hands and leaving on Tuesday. Garda sources said they were anxious to speak to this individual as part of their ongoing enquiries.
Meanwhile the businessman who raised the alarm on Tuesday said he is praying for the victim and her family.
Derrick Amrein, owner of Chizel & Oak, O’Curry Street, Limerick City, said he alerted emergency services after he was asked for help by two people who ran from the building where the body was discovered.
Mr Amrein said: “About 1pm yesterday a man and a woman in pyjamas approached and asked to ring the emergency services and said there was a stabbing in their apartment block just around the corner.
“I rang Henry Street and said they needed to send ambulances as we had been informed a lady was ‘bleeding out’ in the apartment.
“The gardai and the ambulances came very quickly, so the emergency services were superb at the speed they came, they cordoned off the area and took over and then I heard later on that (the woman) passed away.
“It’s a very tight-knit old community and we are all in shock, we are frazzled by the whole thing and everyone is expressing their anguish at what happened.”
“It’ll take time for the community to recover. The gardai have been here all morning searching bins and all the (garda) forensics have been here working right throughout the night, they are doing a great job.”
Mr Amrein said: “It is very sad for the parents, any father or mother loosing a child at any age is horrendous, so all our thoughts are with them.”
Anyone with information is asked to contact Henry Street Garda Station on 061-212400.