Congo veteran murdered during house robbery
Published 09/03/2011 | 05:00
AN elderly former soldier who served in the Congo has been murdered at his small terraced home during a robbery.
Gardai were last night attempting to establish how Jimmy Boyce (72) was killed at his Limerick city home.
Mr Boyce's body was found by garda officers in his upstairs bedroom at the house in St Mary's Park on Monday evening after neighbours became concerned for his safety. It has not yet been established when Mr Boyce was last seen alive.
State pathologist Marie Cassidy carried out a post-mortem examination on the body of the victim yesterday.
The results have not been released for operational purposes. But the Irish Independent understands that Mr Boyce was beaten.
Gardai suspect robbery was the motive.
It has not yet been fully determined what was stolen from his home in St Munchin's Street in the inner-city estate.
Gardai are also examining the possibility that the victim, who was well known in the area and lived alone, may have innocently allowed his killer into his home.
Superintendent Frank O'Brien described the murder as a "heinous crime". "Mr Boyce met his death as a result of violent means," Supt O'Brien said.
Gardai are appealing for anyone who saw Mr Boyce between Saturday morning and 7pm on Monday evening to contact them immediately. CCTV from St Mary's Park was also being examined.
Next-door neighbour Christopher McNamara raised the alarm after his mother became concerned.
"My mother, Cora, looked after him. We are devastated over it," Mr McNamara said.
Concern grew on Monday afternoon when Mr Boyce's meals-on-wheels service, run by St Mary's Aid Integrated Development, called to his door but nobody answered.
Volunteers left his meal with Mrs McNamara and asked her to look out for her neighbour.
"I was with my wife and my brother came over for me and said my mother was worried about Jimmy. So I jumped over the back wall and I saw the curtains were pulled and he wouldn't do that. He opens them when he gets up every morning," Mr McNamara said.
Mr Boyce was a member of the Defence Forces from 1956 to 1962. He served in the Congo as part of the United Nations peacekeeping mission in 1961 and left for England for work afterwards.
Mr Boyce's death is the second tragedy for the community of St Mary's Park this week.
On Sunday night/Monday morning, Francis Allen (73) died following a fire at his home at St Munchin's Street.