Gardaí prepare file for DPP after releasing man arrested over murder of Kerry woman

Miriam Burns, 75, was found dead at her house in Killarney last year

Gardaí are to prepare a file for the DPP after releasing without charge a man arrested for questioning about the death of a 75-year-old mother of four whose body was found in her house in Killarney in Co Kerry last year.

Detectives investigating the death of Miriam Burns from Ardshanavooley in Killarney, arrested the 52-year-old man at an address on Cork’s Northside early on Wednesday morning and conveyed him to Mayfield Garda station for questioning.

The man was detained under Section 4 of the Criminal Justice Act, which allows gardaí detain suspects for up to 24 hours, but he was released without charge shortly after 9pm on Wednesday night and gardaí will now prepare a file on the matter for the DPP.

Ms Burns’ body was discovered in the sittingroom of her house on August 15th 2022 after a relative living abroad became concerned when they were unable to contact her and rang a neighbour who found Ms Burns lying motionless on the sittingroom floor.


They alerted gardaí who immediately became suspicious as Ms Burns had injuries consistent with an assault and gardaí launched a murder investigation after a postmortem by Assistant State Pathologist, Dr Margot Bolster confirmed she had died a violent death.

Investigators established that Ms Burns was last seen alive on the evening of August 12th, suggesting that she sustained the fatal injuries sometime between 5pm on August 12th and 1.15pm on August 15th when her body was discovered.

Garda technical experts are understood to have found no sign of forced entry at the property, suggesting that Ms Burns may well have known her killer and admitted him or her into her house.

A native of Milltown in Mid-Kerry, Ms Burns was a familiar figure around Killarney where she had lived for many years, often being seen on her bike, and hundreds attended a memorial service for her at St Mary’s Cathedral in the town on August 21st before her remains were cremated.

Ms Burns’ daughter, Sharon told mourners at the prayer service that her mother was known locally as the “beautiful smiling lady on the bike” and was also a “lioness”.

Chief celebrant at the prayer service, Fr Kieran O’Brien said that the show of solidarity in the community since Ms Burns’s death had been a source of comfort to her grieving family, whose neighbours and friends would continue to rally around in the months to come.

Barry Roche

Barry Roche

Barry Roche is Southern Correspondent of The Irish Times