GARDAI have launched an investigation into the death of a man after his tied-up body was found in a hotel room.
Mystery surrounds the circumstances of the death of the man, named locally as Colm Kavanagh.
Mr Kavanagh, who was in his early 40s, was discovered in a room of the Talbot Hotel on the outskirts of Carlow town.
While he had been bound, there were no immediate signs of physical injury.
Investigating officers believe the dead man had booked into the hotel on Thursday morning.
Gardai were called to the hotel at around noon yesterday after Mr Kavanagh's body was discovered by a hotel cleaner.
Gardai from Carlow attended the scene and the room was sealed off for forensic examination. Murder is not suspected but gardai are still trying to establish the cause of death.
Gardai believe Mr Kavanagh was with another person the night before the grim discovery. This person was not on the scene when body was found.
Mr Kavanagh's 2010-registered Mazda car was removed from the hotel car park by tow truck at around 6.30pm yesterday for examination.
Shocked guests looked on as the remains were taken out of the hotel in a coffin.
Tests will be carried out over the weekend to try and ascertain the exact cause of death.
Locals said Mr Kavanagh was one of triplets.
A staff member at the hotel, who did not wish to be named, said there were concerns at the front desk when Mr Kavanagh had not been seen or made any contact with staff in quite some time.
"It is unbelievable to think that there could have been someone dead in there. It is very surreal," the staff member added.
The hotel is 2km from the town centre and is located on the Portlaoise Road off the N80. It boasts views of Carlow's rolling countryside.
In 2011, it was named as one of the top family friendly hotels in Ireland. Local councillor Rody Kelly expressed his condolences and said that his thoughts were with the dead man's family.
"The sympathy of anyone with half a heart would have to be with his family and anyone connected with him at this time," he said. "The family are going to need a lot of support to help them get through the weeks, months and indeed years."
The hotel declined to comment.