Man held in Kilkenny after death of woman found at end of stairs

Postmortem due on body of Rita Apine (29) who was found with serious injuries

Rita Alpine (29) who was found injured at the end of a stairs in a house in Kilkenny

A post mortem is to take place today on the body of Rita Apine, a mother of one who was killed in Kilkenny yesterday.

Gardaí and ambulance crews found Ms Apine (29) at the foot of the stairs of her house in Freshford, Kilkenny at about midday on Sunday. They administered CPR and she was initially responsive but later died at St Luke's Hospital in Kilkenny.

The man in his 30s has been arrested and was held overnight at Kilkenny Garda Station under Section 4 of the Criminal Justice Act. Gardaí can hold him for 24 hours after arrest before charging him, releasing him or applying to the District Court for an extension to his detention.

Gardaí have sealed off the house, where the woman had been living with her partner and child, and members of the Garda Technical Bureau are continuing a technical examination of the scene this morning.


The investigation is understood to be focusing on whether Ms Apine fell down the stairs by accident or was assaulted.

The State Pathologist will examine the body later on Monday. Their findings will be critical in guiding the course of the investigation.

The woman and her partner moved to the house on Bridge Street last year. She and her partner are both originally from Russia although Ms Apine considered Ireland her home.

“I love my home-my Ireland!,” she wrote on social media recently

"It's a major shock locally here," local Fianna Fáil Councillor Michael McCarthy said.

“This is just a quiet, rural village and everybody here knows each other. Something like this is totally out of character, nothing like this should happen in this locality.”

Mr McCarthy said he knew the victim to see, but not by name, and would often see her or her partner in the area in the mornings. “Bridge Street is a quiet area. There are a few apartments there and like all apartments, people come and go.”

Conor Gallagher

Conor Gallagher

Conor Gallagher is Crime and Security Correspondent of The Irish Times