A man was arrested by police in County Cavan  on Friday morning after a tense nine-hour siege, which followed the violent death of a mother-of-four, who had just said goodbye to her son emigrating to Australia.

According to a report in The Irish Independent, the woman who was shot dead on Thursday evening had been in fear of her life for some time. Sources say the victim was shot in an upstairs bedroom by her estranged husband, Oliver Kierans, 56.

Patricia Kierans, 56, from Balieborough, in Cavan, had said farewell to the youngest of her four adult children - who was emigrating to Australia to join his three siblings.

Her body was later discovered in a house in Bailieborough, which the police sealed off.

Earlier this morning a man was arrested in connection with her death following an overnight siege at a pub in the town.

The arrest followed a nine-hour stand-off with police at the Square Bar in the town, which ended - with no injuries - at around 3am.

Kierans' local curate has since revealed that she told him in the past 12 months that she feared for her life.

Fr. Oliver O'Reilly said: "She had confided in me quite a bit over the last year and she had expressed fear that her life was in danger.

"I had got her professional help.  I feel personally devastated as well as the larger community with what has happened."

The siege began after Kierans' body was found in a house just outside Bailieborough on Thursday evening.  It is believed she was violently beaten before she was shot.

Police had been alerted after Kierans' sister became concerned she could not contact her sibling after repeated phone calls.

An examination of her body, after officers called to her house, established she had been hit in the body by a shotgun blast at some stage on Thursday afternoon.

While police were at the scene, they were alerted by a staff member of local pub, Nixys The Square bar, where they discovered that a man, armed with a shotgun, was hiding out in the basement of the premises. Staff said they had been ordered out of the pub by the gunman and warned to stay away.

Police immediately cleared the area and attempted to set up a line of communication with the armed man, using a trained Special Branch negotiator, along with officers from two special units.

It has since emerged that the suspect is from the town, where he runs a business.  According to police, he was a known republican supporter in the past.

It is also understood that the suspect was a regular in the pub and had arrived there earlier last night in an agitated and distressed state of mind.

Police said they are not looking for anyone else in relation to the incident.

A police spokesman said: "A 56-year-old male was arrested at approximately 3am this morning at a licensed premises in Balieborough in connection with the death.

"He is currently in custody at Bailieboro Garda Station under the provisions of Section 50 of the Criminal Justice Act 2007.

"The scene at the licensed premises is also preserved for a technical examination."

The Square Bar in Bailieborough where the siege took placeRTE