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Sunday 21 January 2018

Disabled pensioner dies in blaze at home

Brian McDonald

A DISABLED pensioner died tragically in an accident at his home.

Martin Walsh (79), the oldest person in the tiny south Mayo village of Gortnagarn, near Kilmaine, lost his life in a fire at his home late on Tuesday night.

Mr Walsh, who lived alone, was well-regarded in the locality. He had been confined to a wheelchair for a number of years.

It is thought he may have toppled from his wheelchair into an open fireplace at his bungalow and was unable to call for help.

He was pronounced dead shortly after emergency services arrived at his home. His body was removed to Mayo General Hospital in Castlebar where a post-mortem examination was due to be carried out yesterday.

An inquest will be held at a later date.

A neighbour described Mr Walsh as "a lovely man" and said a number of nieces and nephews lived nearby.

"It's an awful tragedy. I was only talking to him the other day -- it's terrible for his family. Everybody here is shocked at what has happened", said the neighbour, who did not wish to be identified.

The house was not extensively damaged in the freak blaze.

Gardai are treating the death as a tragic accident.

Irish Independent

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