An investigation is under way following the death of a resident at the Áras Attracta care centre in Co Mayo.

It is understood the female resident was living in Bungalow 3 at the Health Service Executive-run facility.

The woman got into difficulty when she went to a common kitchen area to get something to eat shortly before 10pm yesterday.

Staff members on duty at the time heard she was having difficulty in swallowing a piece of food and tried to assist her.

Specialist suction equipment to deal with choking incidents was deployed and emergency service personnel were called to the home in Swinford.

Efforts to revive the woman were unsuccessful and she was pronounced dead at the scene.

Gardaí were notified following the incident and are compiling a file for the local coroner. They are treating the death as a tragic accident.

The family of the woman, who was in her early 50s, has appealed for privacy. 

In a statement, the HSE said it had informed all relevant authorities, including HIQA and the Health and Safety Authority. 

It expressed condolences to the resident's family.

The statement added that an assessment is being carried out to establish all facts surrounding the incident and to ensure all necessary supports are provided to other residents and their families.