Grave diggers halt exhumation of woman’s body in Limerick

New information obtained by gardaí led to granting of exhumation order

Workmen at St Mary’s Graveyard, Rathkeale, Co Limerick where the remains of Margot Seery are interred. Photograph: Liam Burke/Press 22

Workmen at St Mary’s Graveyard, Rathkeale, Co Limerick where the remains of Margot Seery are interred. Photograph: Liam Burke/Press 22

 

Grave diggers involved in the exhumation of a Co Limerick woman who died almost 20 years ago are waiting on the arrival of the Deputy State Pathologist to carry out a preliminary examination at the scene.

The process of exhuming the remains of the late Margot Seery began early this morning at St Mary’s burial ground beside the church in Rathkeale Co Limerick. It followed new information received by gardaí about the death of the 42-year-old who was found dead in Dublin on October 8th 1994.

It was expected that a postmortem would be carried out at University Hospital Limerick later today. However the digging process stopped shortly after 10am and gardaí are awaiting the arrival of Deputy State Pathologist Michael Curtis who is due at the scene around midday.

Dr Curtis, accompanied by an anthropologist, is expected to examine the remains in situ and decide if they can be removed from the grave yard.

Ms Seery’s body was discovered in a flat in Rathmines in October 1994 after she had spent a night out socialising with friends. She was originally from west Co Limerick.

An inquest into her death concluded she died of asphyxiation after choking. Nobody else was sought as part of the investigation as gardaí did not believe any foul play had occurred in her death.

However, during the summer a man walked into a Dublin city garda station and claimed he killed the young Limerick woman.

The man, who is understood to have a history of psychiatric problems, brought detectives to the flat where Ms Seery died.

It’s believed he outlined the events of the night to officers, including how he met the deceased and spent the evening socialising with her.

Ms Seery was buried with relatives in St Mary’s burial ground in Rathkeale cemetery.

Shortly after 7.30am today the family pilot was screened off from public viewing by large plastic sheeting. Three uniformed gardaí have secured the area which has been declared a crime scene.

The exhumation process is being overseen by members of the Garda Technical Bureau and Detective Inspector George McGeary who is leading the investigation.

Speaking outside the burial ground today West Limerick Coroner Brendan Nix SC said the matter was part of an ongoing garda investigation and an exhumation order which was made by the Minister for Justice.

“It’s part of a garda investigation which is ongoing and will be ongoing for some time,” he said. Mr Nix complimented the gardaí and the local people involved “on the due dispatch and total professionalism in which the entire matter is being dealt with”.