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Saturday 10 December 2016

'We're all so busy these days, to think of them just lying there is heartbreaking' - Neighbours in shock after brothers died in house

'One of them was good at building and being a handyman, working with cars and things. Everyone is just shocked'

Robin Schiller

Published 05/10/2016 | 02:30

Gardai at the brothers’ house in Bluebell, Dublin. Photo: Arthur Carron
Gardai at the brothers’ house in Bluebell, Dublin. Photo: Arthur Carron

Gardaí are treating the discovery of two brothers' bodies at a home in west Dublin as a tragic incident.

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The remains of William McCarthy and Daniel McCarthy were discovered at their home in the Millrose Estate, Bluebell on Monday night.

Neighbours had raised concerns about the brothers' well-being and alerted emergency services after they were not seen for a number of days.

The two McCarthy brothers were aged in their 70s and were both deaf. Daniel had been caring for his younger brother William, who was also known as Liam in the locality.

Gardaí were called to their home and managed to gain access to the property, where they made the tragic discovery.

It is believed that Daniel McCarthy died a number of days previously, while William had passed away only recently.

Officers were forced to get a ladder from a house nearby to enter the home, and the bodies of the two men were discovered in an upstairs bedroom.

Gardaí are attempting to determine the cause of death, but are not treating the fatalities as suspicious. A source said: "Locals had not seen one of these men for a number of days so a call was made to gardaí. There is nothing at this stage to suggest that a crime has taken place. It looks to be a tragic incident.

"It seemed that the elder brother was caring for his younger brother, for the last number of years at least, and that they were extremely close.

"The circumstances surrounding the two deaths still have to be investigated, especially as it seems that one sibling died days before the other," the source said.

Last night, the bodies remained at the property with the scene being sealed off by a uniformed officer. Neighbours expressed their shock at the news, describing the brothers as "quiet people" who would keep to themselves.

"I've been living here for around 30 years and they were here before I moved in. They seemed like very friendly men but they kept to themselves.

"The couple beside them called the gardaí after they weren't seen for a number of days. It's awful.

"They were both deaf but you would see the older brother out in the car everyday, he would go out in the morning and come back in the evening," the neighbour said.

Independent councillor Paul Hand told RTE Radio One's Morning Ireland: "They were both deaf and couldn't speak, but they communicated through sign and written language.

"Everyone in the estate knew them.

"They kept themselves to themselves but they took care of each other and members of the community would check in on them every now and again, their neighbours did.

"One of them was good at building and being a handyman, working with cars and things. Everyone is just shocked.

"They should have got a lot more assistance from the State, there will be questions to answer about the level of care these two vulnerable old men were being given. It hasn't been adequate enough."

A neighbour told RTE Radio One's Today with SOR; "We're all so busy these days, to think of them just lying there is heartbreaking."

Last night, local Fianna Fáil councillor Dáithí de Roiste expressed his sympathies to the family of the McCarthy brothers.

"It is an awful tragedy to happen, the community is still coming to terms with what happened. My thoughts and prayers go to their friends and families, and also to their neighbours.

"It's a very tough time for those people in particular.

"It is a wonderful community with brilliant people, and also a very quiet estate," Mr de Roiste said.

"It reminds us to look out for our neighbours, especially those who are elderly," he added.

Meanwhile, Justin Moran, Head of Advocacy and Communications with Age Action, said: “What happened to the McCarthy brothers is heartbreaking and our thoughts must be with their family, friends and neighbours.

“It’s a reminder to all of us that people can become isolated anywhere. When we talk about social exclusion we tend to think of it more in rural areas, where someone is living well outside of town, but this tragedy in a busy Dublin community like Bluebell shows it can happen in our big cities.

“We would always encourage neighbours to check in on people in their community who might be older or vulnerable in some way. There’s often a reluctance to do so. No one wants to be seen as interfering or nosey, but our experience is that it’s always appreciated.

“Even if the person says they’re fine and don’t need any help, they get a measure of reassurance from knowing that someone is looking out for them and that can mean a great deal.

“In this case, the neighbours of the McCarthys did exactly the right thing and contacted the authorities when they couldn’t get in contact with the two men.”

Gardaí in Kilmainham are investigating the incident.

Irish Independent

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