Murder inquiry after woman’s body found in Cork apartment

Nicola Collins, a mother-of-three, found with serious head injuries in flat on city’s northside


Gardaí in Cork city have opened a murder investigation after a postmortem confirmed that a mother-of-three died as a result of injuries sustained in an assault in the early hours of Monday.

Members of the emergency services found Nicola Collins (38) with serious injuries when they were called to a flat above a convenience store on Popham’s Road in Farranree on the city’s northside at around 3.30am. They were alerted by a man who was living in the flat, which Ms Collins was visiting.

Paramedics attended to Ms Collins but were unable to revive her and she was pronounced dead at the scene.

Gardaí were notified and they arrested a 42-year-old man for questioning about an assault causing harm to Ms Collins, who was originally from Co Kerry.

The man, originally from Charleville, is being detained at Mayfield Garda station under Section 4 of the Criminal Justice Act which allows gardaí to hold suspects for up to 24 hours.

On his arrival at the station a doctor certified that he was not fit to be questioned. Gardaí began interviewing him at around noon and detectives were on Monday night continuing to question the man about the death of Ms Collins. The deceased was named by gardaí after officers made contact with her mother in Tralee and her father in Cork city.

Gardaí cordoned off the scene and Ms Collins’ body remained in the bedroom area where she had been found until Assistant State Pathologist, Dr Margaret Bolster, arrived at the flat.

Violent death

Dr Bolster carried out a preliminary examination at the scene before Ms Collins’s body was removed to Cork University Hospital for a postmortem, which confirmed she died a violent death.

Gardaí, under Supt Mick Comyns, upgraded their inquiry to a murder investigation upon receipt of Dr Bolster’s findings. Although gardaí have not released the results of the postmortem for operational reasons, it is understood that Ms Collins suffered serious injuries to her head.

It is understood that Ms Collins has three young children but they do not live at her flat on Clashduv Road in Togher on the city’s southside, where she has lived for a number of years.

Garda technical experts carried out a forensic examination of the scene and officers began door to door inquiries in the area as well as examining CCTV footage from nearby shops.

Gardaí are satisfied that there was no sign of forced entry into the flat and say they are not looking for anyone else other than the arrested man in relation to the fatal assault.

Local Sinn Féin councillor Kenneth Collins, who lives close to the scene of the fatal assault, said the incident had shocked the community.

“It’s a very mature area of Cork with a lot of older people – it’s awful to hear that a young woman has lost her life in these circumstances and my thoughts and prayers are with her family,” he said.