Gardaí question man over fatal stabbing of woman in Co Meath

Suspect in his 30s is arrested after assault at house in townland outside of Athboy

Gardaí believe a young mother murdered in an attack in Co Meath early on Friday morning was stabbed in her own home by a man known to her.

The suspect in the case contacted gardaí himself and was taken into custody.

Gardaí went to a detached rented bungalow in the townland of Rathmore outside Athboy at about 5.30am after being alerted to the assault.

When they arrived at the house, across the road from Rathmore National School, they found the victim, a Romanian national in her mid to late 20s, with knife wounds.


While paramedics were called to the scene, she was pronounced dead in the house, which was sealed off by gardaí pending the arrival of a pathologist and the Garda Technical Bureau.

The woman, identified as Larisa Serban, was one of a number of people living in the rented house for a relatively short period and they do not appear to be well known in the area. It was unclear if her children were in the house when she was killed.

The rural property, on the Athboy to Navan road, remained sealed off on Friday afternoon with gardaí posted outside. There were two rented vans and a car parked in the driveway while a children’s playhouse was located in the garden of the property.

A pathologist carried out a preliminary examination of the woman’s remains at the house on Friday morning before her body was removed just after 12pm for a postmortem.

Suspect alerts gardaí

A senior investigating officer has been appointed and an incident room has been established at Kells Garda station.

It is understood the suspect in the case presented at Drogheda Garda station, approximately 40km from the crime scene. It appears it was he who alerted gardaí to the stabbing.

Garda sources said nobody else was being sought in relation to the killing at this time.

Garda Headquarters said in a statement that officers from Kells station responded to a call alerting them to an unresponsive woman at the property in Rathmore. It added that the suspect, who is in his 30s, was being detained in Ashbourne Garda station under section 4 of the Criminal Justice Act. That legislation allows for him to be questioned for up to 24 hours without charge.

Local Independent Cllr David Gilroy said the “sense of shock” was “palpable across the Rathmore and Athboy communities as news broke”.

Conor Lally

Conor Lally

Conor Lally is Security and Crime Editor of The Irish Times