Gardaí were harvesting hundreds of hours of video footage from CCTV (closed circuit television) cameras in Rathkeale and Limerick City, in trying to trace the movements of talented musician Louise Muckell, prior to her death Wednesday, after she appeared to have had suffered a serious assault.
The former music teacher and singer from Rathkeale, Co Limerick, was found with serious injuries at her home at Cois Deel in the town, around 8.30pm last Tuesday night, and she died at University Hospital Limerick.
Gardaí have not launched a murder investigation but sources said they believe Ms Muckell died from a violent attack.
Gardaí have been conducting house-to-house enquires in the Cois Deel estate, as well as at residences on Windmill Street, Limerick City, where gardaí believe Ms Muckell visited an apartment and may have been assaulted at this address last weekend or earlier this week.
A postmortem on Ms Muckell’s body was conducted by State Pathologist, Dr Margaret Bolster, however gardaí have not released the autopsy results.
Ms Muckell, aged in her mid 50s, was known locally as a “talented pianist” who taught music in the former Sisters of Mercy secondary school, in the town, prior to its closure a number of years ago.
In previous years she had been a “much sought after” singer at local weddings and funerals, she lived alone in the Cois Dell estate and has a number of close relatives living in the local area.
Speaking Friday, local Fine Gael Councillor, Adam Tesky, appealed “to anyone with information to come forward to An Garda Siochána to try and bring this to some sort of hopeful conclusion”.
“There are a lot of families suffering in Rathkeale and there is a dark cloud over the community,” said Cllr Tesky.
“The area and the people of the town and the surrounding arrears are completely shocked at what has happened, and I pass on my sympathies to the Muckell family, and my thoughts and prayers are with them.”
Ms Muckell had trained under the late Irish soprano Veronica Dunne, according to several Rathkeale sources.
“She led the local church choir for a time and she previously trained a choir for competitions at the Community Games, we all have great sympathy for Louise and her family, it is an awful shock,” one source said.
Fiona Ní Caoimh Dubhghall, a former Rathkeale youth choir member under Ms Muckell’s tutelage, said she was “so saddened” to hear of her death.
In a heartfelt online tribute Ms Ní Caoimh Dubhghall wrote: “In the late ‘80s, Louise took time to teach us, the youths of Rathkeale to come together in voice. Under Louise’s direction, the Rathkeale Youth Choir went to Mosney, a dream come true for many of us.”
“Thank you, Louise, for the great memories, may the choirs of angels come to great you, may they lead you to paradise, rest in peace.”
Another member of the youth choir described Ms Muckell as “a gentle soul who left us with precious childhood memories, and that trip to Mosney was one of the highlights of our teenage years”.
Another wrote: “Very sad, sure Louise you will lead the choir in heaven.”
Gardaí have conducted forensic tests at a number of addresses, at the initial scene at Cois Deel, Rathkeale, as well as at Windmill Street.
“Gardaí in Limerick had attended an incident that occurred in the Windmill Street area of Limerick earlier on the evening of Tuesday, July 19th and enquiries to date suggest that the deceased may have frequented a residence on Windmill Street in the day or days prior to her discovery with serious injuries on July 19th,” a garda spokesman said.
Appealing for information, Gardaí said: “In particular gardaí wish to speak to any persons who were in the Windmill Street area of Limerick City or the Cois Deel area of Rathkeale between Sunday, 17th July, 2022, and Tuesday, 19th July, 2022, who observed any activity which drew their attention, to come forward.”
“Any persons who may have camera footage (including dash-cam and CCTV) of either area between these dates are asked to make this footage available to Gardaí.”
“Anyone with any information is asked to contact Henry Street Garda Station on 061 212400, the Garda Confidential Line on 1800 666 111, or any Garda Station.”