Donegal mother of two (27) called gardaí shortly before she was killed in attack

Jasmine McMonagle found dead at her home in Killygordon, east Donegal

 Jasmine McMonagle who was killed in her home in Donegal on Friday had two young children.  Photograph: Northwest newspix

Jasmine McMonagle who was killed in her home in Donegal on Friday had two young children. Photograph: Northwest newspix

 

A man was being questioned by gadaí on Friday night following the death of a young mother of two from suspected knife wounds in an attack at her home in Co Donegal.

Jasmine McMonagle was found dead at her home when members of the Garda’s Regional Response Unit attended at the house in Killygordon in the early hours of Friday morning.

The 27-year-old had contacted gardaí just minutes beforehand to report a domestic disturbance at her home at Forest Park on the outskirts of the East Donegal village.

Ms McMonagle shared the home with her partner Richard Burke, who is originally from Donegal town.

The couple’s two young children were taken from the house and are understood to be unhurt. They were taken to be cared for by family members.

Gardaí received the call from the distressed woman at 4.20am.

However, when they arrived at 4.47am, they were refused entry to the house at Forest Park on the outskirts of the East Donegal village.

At this stage, there was an altercation and it is understood a garda was attacked.

A decision was then made to call in the Regional Response Unit which arrived on scene a short time later.

A man was arrested around 7.30am and taken to Letterkenny Garda station.

At Letterkenny Garda station, the arrested man was treated by a psychiatrist and was later interviewed by gardaí. He can be held for up to 48 hours without being charged.

The scene of the attack was preserved by gardaí on Friday morning, and door-to-door enquiries were carried out.

Both the deputy state pathologist Linda Mulligan and members of the Garda Technical Bureau from Dublin arrived at the scene on Friday afternoon.

At around 3pm, Ms McMonagle’s remains were removed to Letterkenny General Hospital. Locals have reacted with shock to the death of the young woman who is originally from the border town of Castlefinn.

‘Shouting and screaming’

Neighbour Damian Scanlon, who lives directly across from the house, said he was awoken by shouting and screaming at around 5am.

“There was a lot of Garda activity but I just thought it was a party or something so I went back to bed.

“I awoke again after 7am and this time I saw gardaí everywhere including guys with shields and helmets.

“All of a sudden I saw them burst in the front door and then this fella [CAME]out and they were shouting at him to ‘get on the grass, get on the grass’ or something like that.

“A while later I saw a garda taking a child out in his arms and I saw another child with another garda at the front door.”

Mr Scanlon said he did not know the couple personally but added that Forest Park was a lovely estate with lots of children in it.

“This is the last thing that you would expect to happen,” he added.

Local county councillor, Gary Doherty, who is from the same village as Ms McMonagle, said “the whole community is in shock at the tragic news coming from Killygordon this morning.

“My deepest condolences go out to the family and friends of the young woman who has sadly lost her life so prematurely.”

Inspector Michael Harrison gave a brief statement on behalf of gardaí outside Letterkenny Garda station on Friday afternoon.

“Gardaí are investigating the circumstances surrounding the death of a woman at Forest Park, Killygordon, Co Donegal this morning,” he said.

“The woman was pronounced dead at the scene. The office of the State Pathologist has been informed and is currently en route to the scene.”

He said a man in his 20s has been arrested and was being detained under the terms of Section 4 of the Criminal Justice Act, 1984.

“At this stage of the investigation, I’m not in a position to answer any further questions or make any more statements,” he said.