A GARDA investigation has been launched after the body of a woman, aged in her 70s, was found in a burning car in north Cork.
A man, understood to be in his 60s, was rescued shortly afterwards from the nearby River Awbeg.
The incident unfolded shortly after 3.30pm today in Doneraile.
The woman was pronounced dead at the scene. The man is tonight in a serious but stable condition at Cork University Hospital.
The alarm was raised when Gardaí received reports of a car being on fire in a remote area in Doneraile.
Gardaí rushed to the scene along with a unit of Cork Fire Brigade after being alerted to the incident at approximately 4.30pm. They quickly realised that a woman was in the burning car.
Gardaí began a search of the fields by the burning car. They then discovered the man in the nearby river.
He was taken from the water and given immediate medical assistance for hypothermia. He was rushed by ambulance to hospital.
Gardaí have requested the services of the Office of the State Pathologist.
The nature of their investigation will be determined by the results of a post mortem examination on the woman.
The post-mortem is due to take place at Cork University Hospital tomorrow.
Gardaí will speak with the man about the circumstances of the incident when doctors deem him medically fit to be interviewed.
Local councillor Frank O’ Flynn said the local community is reeling from the news.
“Anyone I’m talking to, they’re very surprised and it’s hard to come to terms with it.
“A lot of families at the moment are going through hard times living with Covid and our prayers are with the families at this very sad time.”
Councillor William O’Leary described the news as “horrific”.
“[My] thoughts and prayers [are] with all the relatives and at this stage, we’ll let the guards get on with their job and carry out their investigation and I’m sure in due course, what happened will be public knowledge.”
He said that “people are at a loss” after hearing of the incident.
“Condolences to the family and to the relatives...we can only wait and see what the story is here and the background.
Tonight a Garda spokesperson appealed to the public for information regarding the incident.
"The scene is currently preserved and a technical examination is to be carried out by the Garda Technical Bureau. The Office of the State Pathologist has been informed and a post mortem is to be carried out, the results of which will determine the course of the investigation.
"Gardaí are appealing for anyone who was in the Doneraile area between 3pm and 5pm, particular anyone with mobile phone footage or dashcam footage, to contact Fermoy Garda Station on 025-82100 or the Garda Confidential Line on 1800-666-111."