Gardaí in Limerick investigating the murder of 78-year-old widow Rose Hanrahan have acknowledged there is understandable fear in the local community given the violent events of recent days.

There are many elderly people and single parent families living in the area and gardaí have said people should keep in touch with them.

There will also be community gardaí on duty.

Gardaí said the search of the house at New Road in Thomondgate is continuing, after a murder inquiry was launched yesterday evening.

Local Fianna Fáil TD Willie O’Dea, who knew the victim, appealed to people to talk to gardaí so that, what he described as the perpetrators of this awful crime could be brought to justice.

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.