A man remains in custody on suspicion of murder in relation to the death of a 71-year-old woman whose body was found in her house in Kilkenny on Wednesday evening.

The woman was named locally as Anne Butler, who was from Kilkenny City and lived alone in a house just off Maudlin Street, an old residential area where she was well-known by neighbours.

Her body was found after gardaí received a call at about 6pm on Wednesday which led them to her house.

The woman's body was removed by hearse from the house yesterday afternoon and a post-mortem examination was carried out in Dublin City Morgue by State Pathologist Dr Linda Mulligan.

Gardaí have not released the results of the post-mortem but confirmed on Thursday evening that the man being held in custody at Kilkenny Garda Station was being detained on suspicion of murder.

The man, who in his 20s, was arrested in the Maudlin Street area about an hour after the woman's body was found on Wednesday.

After rest periods and medical attention is taken into account, he can be held until late this morning or early afternoon before a decision will have to be made on whether to charge or release him.