A 45-year-old man has appeared before a special sitting of Limerick District Court charged with the murder of pensioner Rose Hanrahan.

Alexandru Iordache, a Romanian national, was extradited to Ireland from the UK this afternoon and brought to court tonight, where he was charged with murdering the 78-year old widow between 14-15 December 2017.

Ms Hanrahan, who lived alone, was found by relatives in her home at New Road, Thomondgate, Limerick.

Mr Iordache, with an address at Dreptatii Street, Bucharest, Romania, did not speak in court.

An interpreter relayed the proceedings to him.

There was a large garda presence in court, as well as a large gathering of members of Ms Hanrahan's family.

Detective Garda Enda Haugh, of Mayorstone Garda Station, told the court that he arrested the accused at Dublin Airport at 4.10pm today "on foot of an arrest warrant for the murder of Rose Hanrahan".

Det Haugh said it was explained to the accused in his native language why he was being arrested, and "he indicated he understood".

He said he conveyed Mr Iordache to Henry Street Garda Station in Limerick and charged him there at 7.56pm tonight.

The court heard the accused did not reply when charged with Ms Hanrahan's murder.

Garda Colin Dodd, of Dowra Garda Station, Co Cavan, told the court he later arrested Mr Iordache at Henry Street Station "on foot of twelve outstanding warrants, relating to theft matters".

The accused made no reply to any of the 12 charges, the court heard.

Inspector Bill Wallace, of Henry Street Station, told the court the Director of Public Prosecutions had directed the accused face "trial on indictment" in relation to all of the charges, including that Mr Iordache face trial on indictment on the murder charge "at the Central Criminal Court".

The garda van transporting Alexandru Iordache arrives at Limerick District Court

Judge Marian O'Leary remanded the accused in custody to appear before Limerick District Court again on 21 January.

She also directed that a certified Romanian interpreter be present for Mr Iordache's next appearance.