Gardai pictured near the scene where a woman was pronounced dead in a burned out car outside Doneraile in north Cork. (Pic: Daragh McSweeney/Provision)

Following the discovery of the body of an elderly woman in a burning vehicle late on Thursday afternoon outside Doneraile, Gardai are hoping that a postmortem – set to be carried out today (Friday 5th) – will determine the course of their investigation.

Emergency services were alerted to the incident mid afternoon on Thursday, February 4th when a passer-by noticed a car on fire in the Doneraile-Killavullen area, at the Coillte-owned forest at Dromdeer.

Having brought the fire under control, gardai discovered the remains of a woman in the car. From the Mallow area, the deceased woman is understood to be a 72 year old mother of three.

Soon after, gardai rescued a man in his early 60s from the Awbeg river, a number of kilometres from the scene of the car fire. It is understood that the burnt out vehicle was registered in the man’s name, who’s from the County Limerick area.

Suffering from hypothermia when taken from the river, the man was transferred to CUH Cork. In a ‘serious, but non-life threatening’ condition, Gardai hope to speak with the man to determine the sequence of events that led to the burning of the car.

Speaking on RTÉ Radio One on Friday morning, local Councillor Frank Roche described the area as a quiet rural setting, with locals ‘shocked’ that such an incident would happen on their doorstep.

Investigations are continuing.