A 56-year-old man involved in a nine-hour stand-off in Bailieborough, Co Cavan is being questioned about the murder of a mother-of-four in the town.

The body of 54-year-old Patricia Kierans was discovered in a house in the Drumbannon estate.

It is believed she sustained injuries consistent with an assault as well as gunshot wounds.

The man was later taken to Cavan General Hospital for observation and assessment.

He remains in hospital under armed guard and questioning will resume once he has been declared medically fit.

State Pathologist Dr Marie Cassidy is due to carry out a preliminary examination on her body.

Gardaí made the discovery after a relative called to the station and reported Ms Kierans missing.

Officers then went to the Square Bar in the town to speak to a man who knew her, but he produced a gun, customers fled and he locked himself into the basement.

The area was then sealed-off as trained garda negotiators spoke to the man throughout the night and into the early hours of the morning.

The stand-off ended peacefully at around 3.20am when the man was arrested after he came out through the back door of the pub.

He is now in custody at Bailieborough Garda Station and can be questioned for up to seven days.

Gardaí have appealed for anyone who saw anything suspicious in the Drumbannon estate to contact them on 042-9694570.

A local priest told RTÉ's Morning Edition that three of Ms Kierans' children are in Australia and the other had been on his way to join them.

Fr Oliver O'Reilly said: "I feel a great sense of shock and dismay at this occurrence because it is not normal here.

"This is a normal, good community. This was a good family and really my sympathies and feelings are with them this morning."

On RTÉ's Six One News, Peter Murtagh, a local businessman in the town, said “It was devastating news that the people of Bailieboro woke up to.”

“It was just horrible, riveting to know that a member of our community had been so brutally taken out of it. A mother of four children, three of them in Australia and one on their way out to Australia just couldn't comprehend that this had happened among us.”