Video of the incident at a house near Tullamore has been released on social media as gardaí are asking people not to share the footage.
A young man has been arrested after allegedly killing a woman during a violent social media frenzy following the deadly attack.
The 16-year-old is believed to have killed the woman, who is in her 40s, with a blunt instrument at a home about 12km outside Tullamore, Co Offaly, earlier on Friday. The victim was identified on Friday evening as Lorna Woodnutt.
Shocking footage of the incident, showing the victim and his injuries as well as the weapon that was apparently used, was quickly shared online. Gardaí have asked the public not to release the video.
Gardaí were also in contact with the media on Friday after the video was removed from the internet. Most major platforms have taken steps to remove video uploads as soon as they appear.
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We know that the young person has behavioral problems and has shown a strong personality.
Gardaí have not officially declared their investigation a homicide investigation, but it is being treated as a logistical matter. In a statement, An Garda Síochána said that at around 1pm, gardaí and emergency services responded to reports of a violent incident at a residence near Tullamore. The body of a 40-year-old woman was found there. The boy was arrested at the scene and is currently being held under section 4 of the Criminal Justice Act 1984 at Midlands Garda Station.
As a minor, he can only be questioned in the presence of a guardian or other authorized adult. It can be questioned up to a maximum of 24 hours excluding holidays.
Gardaí said the boy knew the woman and the Gardaí investigation is not looking for anyone else in connection with the incident. The situation was preserved on Friday evening until a forensic and technical investigation was carried out by the Garda Technical Office.
The state coroner’s office was notified and the coroner went to the scene Friday evening. A plane carrying the woman’s body was left there at 7pm, accompanied by a Garda.
The house is located in a hidden place at the end of a long road and behind the neighbor’s house. The community declined to comment, saying the issue was “very sensitive” at this time.
A lead investigator was appointed and an incident room was set up at Tullamore Garda Station. “An Garda Síochána is aware that images of this incident have been shared on social media and messaging applications and An Garda Síochána is asking anyone who receives these images not to share the content,” a Garda statement said.
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It is understood that a school in the town has also contacted parents to inform them of the release of the video and advised them to monitor their children’s use of social media. Meanwhile, Taoiseach Leo Varadkar offered his condolences to the families and communities affected.
Speaking to reporters on Saturday, Mr Varadkar said: “I have heard the news of the tragic incident, in which a woman was killed and our condolences go out to everyone involved and our thoughts Our prayers are with our family.community. “It seems that in this case, the social media companies were quick to remove all the images from every video, and I would tell everyone not to share them.”
Fine Gael Tullamore councilor Neil Feighery said the community would “come together” with the families affected following the tragedy.
“We are, as a community, in absolute panic. We are still waiting for news from An Garda Síochána, but the news is truly shocking.
He said his thoughts and prayers are with the families affected by this “horrible tragedy”.
“This is a difficult thing to understand but it pleases God. The family will receive the support, grace and blessings they need in this terrible time,” he said.