Sunday 25 September 2016

Family 'devastated' after body of Irish dad found in English hotel as police continue probe

Published 01/04/2016 | 21:16

The hotel where the murder occurred
The hotel where the murder occurred

POLICE are investigating the circumstances surrounding the death of an Irish man who they originally believed was murdered outside a UK hotel.

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Declan Walsh (41), from Ballyconnell, Co Cavan, was found dead after an attack at the Elmhurst Hotel in Reading, just outside London, on Wednesday.

Police were called to the scene around 10am after reports that Mr Walsh was assaulted by two men. Paramedics were called to the scene, but the father of one was pronounced dead.

Two men, aged 28 and 38, were arrested in Reading.

READ MORE: Police no longer treating Irishman's death in UK as murder investigation

Detectives leading the investigation originally treated the incident as a murder and described it as a “targeted attack”.

However, police are no longer treating the death of the Cavan man as a murder and the two men arrested were released without this afternoon.

A post mortem examination held on Thursday returned the cause of death as inconclusive.

While toxicology reports have been requested, it could be some time before a formal cause of death is established.

Detective Chief Inspector Kevin Brown, of the Thames Valley Police major crime unit, said his team will conduct to conduct an investigation.

“As a result of the post mortem and the enquiries to date we are no longer treating this as a murder investigation, unless any new evidence comes to light,” said Det Brown.

“However, we will continue to conduct a thorough unexplained death investigation on behalf of the coroner, to determine how Declan Walsh died.

“Our sincere condolences and thoughts are with Mr Walsh’s friends and family at this extremely difficult time.”

It is understood Mr Walsh had been living in the UK for more than ten years and worked in the trade industry. 

The community of Ballyconnell has been coming to terms with the death of the popular steel worker.

Mr Walsh’s father, Joe Walsh, was a popular garda in the local area and passed away suddenly in January.

In a statement released to Independent.ie, Declan’s brother-in-law Donal Carlin said the family are heartbroken.

“The Walsh family are recovering from the recent death of Declan’s father, retired garda Joe Walsh, and are once again devastated at this tragic loss of their son, brother and dad,” said Mr Carlin.

He added that Mr Walsh had an historic heart condition and the family are grateful for the support from the UK police, local gardaí and the Cavan community.

Local councillor Damien Brady, who also lives next door to the Walsh family, said the community is shocked.

“He left, like so many young men, to work across the water and has unfortunately lost his life,” said Mr Brady.

“He was a bubbly character and a hard worker. He was over and back from England. He was a steel fixer by trade and pursued work wherever the work was.

“I extend my deepest sympathies to his mother, his three brothers, his sister and his brother in law.”

Mr Walsh attended Ballyconnell National School and later St Mogues secondary school.

Funeral arrangements are expected to be made next week. 

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