Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 30 July 2014

Man in murder probe after home fire

A man in his mid-30s has been arrested after a woman was found dead after a house fire in Cork

A man has been arrested on suspicion of murder following the death of a mother-of-three in a house fire.

The body of Olivia Dunlea-O'Brien, 36, was discovered at her home in Co Cork following a blaze in the early hours of Sunday morning.

Gardai launched a murder investigation after a post-mortem examination revealed she had been stabbed.

A man in his mid-30s was arrested late on Sunday night and taken to Togher Garda station.

Ms Dunlea-O'Brien, of Pembroke Crescent, Passage West, was home alone at the time of the blaze.

Her three children - Aaron, Megan and Darragh - had been spending the night with their father - the victim's husband Adrian O'Brien. It is understood the pair were separated.

The children, aged between nine and 12, are all pupils at the nearby Star of the Sea primary school. Principal Brendan McCormack said the school had been left shocked and saddened by the tragedy.

It is understood Ms Dunlea-O'Brien, an assistant at the local youth club and originally from Victoria Avenue in Ballinlough, Cork, had been socialising at the nearby Rochestown Inn on Saturday night - just hours before her death.

Neighbours raised an alarm in the early hours of Sunday morning after seeing smoke billowing from the two-storey semi-detached house. One neighbour broke into the house to save the family pets - he was unaware Ms Dunlea-O'Brien was at home because her car was not in the driveway.

Her body was later discovered in the front bedroom upstairs after the blaze was put out. Fire crews said the blaze destroyed the upstairs of the house, including the room in which the body was found. It is believed the fire started in two different parts of the house.

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