One-third of homicide victims in 2021 were women

Proportion is highest since 2017, with most allegedly killed by partner or ex-partner

Women made up one third of homicide victims in 2021, the highest proportion since 2017.

The year saw a relatively small number of murders compared to the years since 2015, but a higher-than-average proportion of the victims were women.

According to the figures, which were compiled via the CSO, Women’s Aid and other sources, a total of 22 people died as a result of suspected murder or manslaughter last year. Of these, seven (31 per cent) were women.

Five of these women were allegedly killed by a partner or ex-partner, while one was allegedly attacked by a youth as she walked home.


The previous year, women made up 15 per cent of homicide victims, while in 2019 it was 21 per cent. The year with the highest proportion of female victims was in 2017 when one third of the 48 people who died violently were women.

According to Women’s Aid, 244 women have died violently in Ireland since 1996. Of resolved cases, 87 per cent were perpetrated by a man known to the victim, and 13 per cent died at the hands of a stranger.

Awaiting trial

The first woman to be killed in 2021 was grandmother Mary O’Keeffe (72), whose body was found in a burnt-out car in Doneraile, Co Cork. A 62-year-old suspect is awaiting trial accused of her murder.

Mother of two Sharon Bennett (29) was found dead in the Market area of Ennis, Co Clare on Thursday January 28th. Her then partner is currently awaiting trial for her murder.

On January 20th, Urantsetseg Tserendorj (48) was attacked while she walked between George’s Dock and Custom House Quay in Dublin 1. She died of her injuries two weeks later in hospital. A 14-year-old boy has been charged in relation to the attack.

On April 17th, Jenny Poole (24) was killed at her home at Melville Drive, Finglas. Her boyfriend has been charged with fatally stabbing her.

In September in Kerry, Eileen O’Sullivan (56) was shot dead along with her son Jamie (24) by her partner Mossie O’Sullivan (63). He then took his own life.

Fabiole Camara de Campos (32) was found dead at her home in Charlestown Place on St Margaret’s Road in Finglas on November 4th having suffered several stab wounds. Her husband has been charged with her murder.

On Christmas Eve, Zeinat Bashabsheh (42) was violently killed at her home in Park Na Sillogue Court in Enniskerry, Co Wicklow. Her partner has been charged with murder.

Conor Gallagher

Conor Gallagher

Conor Gallagher is Crime and Security Correspondent of The Irish Times