Thursday 27 October 2016

Reclusive Ellen (68) was dead at home for a month before being found

Published 05/02/2016 | 10:11

Mary Anne Forrester with a photograph of her late sister Ellen (INM)
Mary Anne Forrester with a photograph of her late sister Ellen (INM)

A woman who became reclusive after her parents died and her marriage ended lay dead in her home for nearly a month.

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Ellen Casey (68) was found in the back bedroom of her home on Lally Road in Ballyfermot on January 21.

Her family paid tribute to her as a hard worker.

The youngest of five, she worked in the Thomas Gear jewellery shop in the Ilac Centre, as well as a jewellery shop on O'Connell Street, and was in contact with her sister Mary Anne Forrester who lives just across the road from her.

But when her parents died over 20 years ago, and her short marriage failed, she withdrew into herself and shunned attention, her family said.

Ms Casey had not been seen by her family for around three months but preliminary investigations show she died sometime early in the New Year, as she had collected her pension on December 31.

"It's very sad. We would call over to her but she would tell us to go away and close the gate, and she would also spend time in hospital because her health was bad.

"She wouldn't let us in. The only person she had regular contact with was my daughter Ann Marie," said Ms Forrester.

Ann Marie explained how she used to travel with her aunt Ellen into town to collect her pension in the GPO.

"We would do a bit of shopping and have a bit to eat, and then come home.

"She would only talk to me because she would say I was the only person that could handle her ways," she said.

But Ann Marie has had health issues of her own in recent months and has spent a lot of time in hospital.

"My mother thought Ellen was in hospital, because she had poor health and would often be away from home getting treatment, but I had a feeling she was in the house, and when I couldn't get an answer I called the gardai.

"They forced their way in and I told them to check the back bedroom, and they found her there.

"She was a very lonely person, and it was a sad way to go. She was a loner," she explained.

The family described how Ms Casey had her own ways of going about things.

"She wouldn't collect her pension in Ballyfermot, she insisted it was the GPO, and if she was getting a taxi home she would get it to Chapelizod and walk the rest of the way.

"It was like Ballyfermot wasn't good enough for her. She had these kind of thoughts, God bless her," said her grandson David.

Ms Casey's funeral will take place tomorrow at 11.30am in the Church of the Assumption in Ballyfermot.

No foul play is suspected and it is thought she may have fallen in the house.

Gardai called Father Richard Delahunty from the local church to the scene after they discovered her body.

"It is a very sad case and is an example of how we should keep tabs on our neighbours and relatives, even those who lead very private lives," he told the Herald.

The discovery of Ms Casey's body was the first of two within the space of a week in Ballyfermot where it is suspected the deceased lay undiscovered for a long period.

On January 26 Edward Quinn (43), who was originally from Millbrook Lawns in Tallaght, was found in his flat on Decies Road.

He was found when his landlord called and could not get an answer at the door.

It is believed he may have been dead for around three weeks.

Funeral arrangements are being made by his family who said he died unexpectedly and will be sadly missed by his relatives and friends.

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