Irish Police
Ireland's police force is investigating after a woman was stabbed at a psychiatric hospital in Waterford, Munster. Wikimedia Commons/Mato

The Irish police force (Gardai) are investigating an incident at a psychiatric hospital in which a woman was stabbed to death and two other people were injured.

A male patient at Otteran's Hospital in Waterford, south-east Ireland, was arrested after the incident, which is believed to have taken place late on Friday night. The victim is thought to be a local woman in her 50s, and was also a patient at the hospital.

Another patient was seriously injured and a member of staff who tried to intervene was stabbed in the face, according to reports.

Gardai were interviewing other patients as well as hospital staff last night.

In a statement, the Health Service Executive of Ireland confirmed that "an incident has occurred within the Community Mental Health Services in Waterford".

The statement said the incident is "the subject of a Gardai investigation and the HSE will undertake its own review. HSE wishes to offer its sincere condolences to the family of the deceased."

A post mortem is due to be carried out on the woman's remains on Saturday.

'Shock' attack

Independent councillor Mary Roche said the death came as a shock because St Otteran's is based in a very quiet residential area.

"It's about a mile from the city centre [and] very quiet. I don't think I would have seen any incidents like this in the past.

"The hospital has been there as long as anyone in the city can remember, and there hasn't been anything like this that happened there before."

Local councillor Adam Gary Wyse, from the Fianna Fáil party, said: "It is a really sad time for the person and their family.

"St Otteran's has such a good record helping people and obviously more information will come out, but you have to wonder how this can happen."

St Otteran's Hospital is a 40-bed centre with a rehabilitation ward and an old-age psychiatric ward.

An inspector visiting the centre in 2013 found that the centre's physical restraint policy should be updated.