Belfast Telegraph

Pauline Kilkenny was 'exceptional person', say colleagues as woman held over murder of shop worker

By Victoria Leonard

A young woman has become the second person to be arrested on suspicion of murder after the death of a shop worker in Co Fermanagh.

Detectives investigating the murder of 59-year-old Pauline Kilkenny at her home in the Cornacully Road area of Enniskillen arrested the 26-year-old woman last night.

Detective Chief Inspector John Caldwell, who is leading the investigation, said: "The woman is currently in police custody assisting us with our enquiries."

He added that a 28-year-old man arrested on Tuesday on suspicion of murder, possession of cannabis and theft of a motor vehicle remained in police custody.

Meanwhile, colleagues of Ms Kilkenny have said they are "utterly devastated and deeply shocked" by her death, stressing that their "caring and beautiful" co-worker will have a "special place" beside God.

The body of the Belcoo woman was discovered at her home by her sister at around 1pm on Tuesday.

Concerns were raised after she failed to show up for work at Lilley's Centra and Topaz on Enniskillen's Lough Shore Road, where she worked as a member of the deli team.

Police said the contents of Ms Kilkenny's handbag and her car had been removed and appealed for anyone with information to contact them.

Detective Chief Inspector John Caldwell said that while a post-mortem had yet to be carried out, officers were treating the incident as murder.

Yesterday afternoon the PSNI in Fermanagh issued a statement on social media in an effort to reassure local residents, describing the murder as an "isolated incident".

Superintendent Michael Baird said: "I fully understand the concerns of local residents following the death of 59-year-old Pauline Kilkenny.

"However, at this stage we are treating this as an isolated incident. I want to assure the community that their safety remains a top priority for the officers in this district."

Speaking from her parents' home in Kinawley yesterday, Ms Kilkenny's grieving sister Nuala said the family was "letting the police do what they have to do" and added that it was "very early days for us".

Ms Kilkenny is survived by her parents Vincent and Catherine and sisters Martina, Geraldine and Nuala.

Her death notice said that her remains would be returned to her family home in due course. Funeral arrangements have yet to be finalised. Yesterday Una Lilley, the owner and manager of Lilley's Centra and Topaz, said the alarm had been raised after Ms Kilkenny, who had taken a couple of days' holiday at the end of last week, failed to return to work on Monday.

In a statement on behalf of herself and Ms Kilkenny's co-workers, Ms Lilley said Ms Kilkenny "had the heart of a lion and the compassion of a saint" and that "the more you needed her, the more committed to you she would be". She added: "In our wildest imaginings we did not anticipate this tragedy. She did not deserve this ending.

"It is in stark contrast to the good, kind, caring and beautiful person Pauline was. She was an exceptional human being and we are going to miss her presence and her colour from our daily lives. If there is a God, then Pauline has a special place beside him today because she was Godlike in her approach to those that needed help."

Ms Kilkenny had worked full-time at the store for almost two years.

The statement continued: "We are utterly devastated and deeply shocked by the unfolding of events which have culminated in the death of our valued team member and friend Pauline.

"As a person she was vibrant, cheerful, humorous and colourful. She honestly had the heart of a lion and the compassion of a saint.

"She adored cats and dogs and, particularly if they were injured or in need, they had her undivided attention.

"It was the same with people. The more you needed her, the more committed to you she would be."

Ms Kilkenny was described as a "committed, hard-working, honest, reliable" employee who was "always the first person to volunteer if you needed extra help".

"When making a request for time off, she would always caveat it with 'the needs of the business come first and I can work around you'," the statement added.

"Pauline was the type that would check and double-check her rota and never took holiday leave as a given.

"So, for her not to be at work was completely out of character and almost immediately her co-workers were concerned, as was I."

Ms Kilkenny's colleagues expressed their "deepest heartfelt sympathy" to her loved ones.

"We would like to extend our deepest sympathy to her devastated family," they said.

"To Pauline's loving and much-loved parents and sisters, to her wider family and extensive circle of friends - for Pauline was widely known and loved - we extend our deepest heartfelt sympathy.

"May Pauline rest in heavenly peace."

Ms Kilkenny's death notice said she was formerly of Rock View House in Drumrooske, Kinawley, and had passed away "unexpectedly".

It added that her loss was "deeply regretted by her sorrowing parents Vincent and Catherine, and sisters Martina, Geraldine and Nuala."

UUP Erne West Councillor Alex Baird also extended his sympathy to Ms Kilkenny's family, and described the area where the tragedy happened as "rural with one small centre of habitation".

"My thoughts and prayers go out to the family and extended family - it's just very sad," he said.

Belfast Telegraph

Daily News Headlines Newsletter

Today's news headlines, directly to your inbox.

Popular

From Belfast Telegraph