Belfast Telegraph

Shock over murder of mother, 34

A mother-of-three was beaten to death while her children were in the family home, it has emerged.

The battered body of 34-year-old settled traveller Jacqueline McDonagh was discovered when gardai were called to the property in Dundalk, Co Louth, in the early hours of Wednesday morning.

Her husband, bare knuckle fighter Michael Quinn McDonagh, was found in a distressed state and was taken from the scene with the couple's three children. No arrests have been made.

Detectives are investigating several lines of inquiry, including a report that a group of men called to the house on College Manor, off Hoeys Lane, and killed Mrs McDonagh. A Garda source said: "She was badly beaten and had serious head injuries. It was a violent death. The post mortem will tell us more and how many were involved."

The couple's daughters, aged 14 and 10, and a boy, believed to be around five-years-old, were in the house at the time of the murder.

Officers from the Garda Technical Bureau carried out a forensic examination at the scene in the quiet housing estate while gardai questioned neighbours. The family lived in the Dunsink Lane area of north Dublin before moving to the area.

The victim's husband is the brother of infamous bare knuckle fighter James Quinn McDonagh, who was the central figure in the documentary Knuckle.

John Temple, chairman of College Manor Residents Association, said the family have been renting a house in the estate for about a year.

"We are in shock, dismay, in a complete loss as to what happened," said Mr Temple. "No word can describe the feeling among people here. There has never been a complaint about this family or the children. They're a quiet family."

Kevin Meenan, local Sinn Fein councillor, said everyone in the area was shocked. He added: "It's a nightmare for her three kids, that's all everybody is thinking. It's something you think would happen miles away, in a different part of the country but this is right on our door steps. All our prayers go to the kids and her family."

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