A man has been arrested after a patient was killed in a violent assault on a general ward at Mercy University Hospital in Cork this morning.

The man who died has been named as Matthew Healy, an 89-year-old widower from the Berrings area of Co Cork.

Mr Healy, who was a patient in a general ward, received severe injuries in the incident and despite the best efforts of staff he could not be saved.

MUH is also conducting its own inquiry into how the incident happened on one of its wards

It is understood a male nurse was also injured as staff attempted to subdue the suspect.

Gardaí were called to the hospital at 5.30am where they arrested a 32-year-old man suspected of carrying out the fatal assault.

He was taken to Bridewell Garda Station in Cork where he is currently being questioned.

Investigating gardaí are not currently seeking anyone else in relation to this incident.

The scene was preserved for forensic and technical examination and an incident room has been established at Bridewell Garda Station.

A post-mortem examination has been carried out by Assistant State Pathologist Dr Margot Bolster.

The details of this are not being released for operational reasons, gardaí have said.

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A family liaison officer has been appointed and the family of the deceased has been notified.

MUH said gardaí were immediately alerted when the incident occurred this morning.

In a statement, the hospital also said that counselling services are being provided to patients and staff affected by the incident.

Management and staff are "saddened and shocked at the tragic and unexpected death of an elderly patient in an incident at the hospital today and express their deepest condolences to the family, relatives and friends", the hospital said in a further statement this afternoon.

MUH is also conducting its own inquiry into how the incident happened on one of its wards.