Gardaí in Limerick have confirmed a murder inquiry is under way into the death of 78-year-old Rose Hanrahan whose body was discovered at her home on Friday.

Ms Hanrahan's body was discovered in a downstairs room of her home at New Road in Thomandgate, Limerick city, at 1.30pm on Friday by a relative. 

Gardaí upgraded their investigation following a post-mortem examination on Ms Hanrahan's body which was completed yesterday evening.

Gardaí had received court authority to continue searching Ms Hanrahan's home. 

The extension was for a further 48 hours.

Superintendent Derek Smart, who is leading the investigation, issued an appeal for anyone with information to contact gardaí.

Superintendent Smart said that gardaí have people on the ground and were putting all of the resources available to them into the investigation.

He urged people to also check on their neighbours and to make sure they are safe.

He said it was very hard to fathom that an incident such as this could happen to a 78-year-old woman. 

He appealed for anyone with information to contact Mayorstone Garda Station on 061 212 400 or the Garda Confidential line on 1800 666 111