A murder inquiry has been opened in Dundalk, Co Louth after a 62-year-old woman was found dead at a residential address in the town on Wednesday.
Post mortem results were returned on the remains of the woman, named locally as Catherine Henry, on Thursday which led to the investigation being upgraded to murder.
It is understood the deceased suffered significant injuries. Gardaí have said they will not release details of the post mortem for operational reasons.
Ms Henry was found at the address on Bridge Street, described locally as a busy mix of commercial and residential properties, on Wednesday night.
Following the establishment of the murder inquiry on Thursday, a senior investigating officer was appointed and an incident room set up in Dundalk. A family liaison officer has also been put in place as is standard procedure in such cases.
It is understood that at this early stage gardaí are keeping an open mind as to the circumstances. No arrests have been made.
“Gardaí in Dundalk are investigating a fatal assault in relation to the discovery of the body of a woman aged in her 60s at a residence in Bridge Street, Dundalk,” they confirmed on Thursday evening.
Local Sinn Fein councillor Kevin Meenan said it did not appear Ms Henry was widely known in the town.
“Everyone was shocked first of all,” he said following news of the murder inquiry. “It’s not a good thing to hear, especially when a body is found in an apartment; everyone was sort of hoping it wasn’t what it has turned out to be.
“People are shocked but unfortunately at this stage in Ireland it is very common now.”
The scene remained sealed off on Thursday night as gardaí continued their investigations.
Cllr Meenan described Bridge Street as a busy area with a mixture of apartments, shops and pubs, and which is due to be the subject of a rejuvenation programme.
Gardaí are appealing for witnesses who were in the area on Wednesday afternoon or evening and they are asked to contact Dundalk Garda station on 042 938 8400, the Garda Confidential Line 1800 666 111 or any Garda station.