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Sunday 24 March 2019

Elderly couple found dead in their bedroom 'may have both fallen'

‘Sad day’: Neighbours gather as gardaí probe the scene in Convoy, east Donegal yesterday. Picture: North West Newspix
‘Sad day’: Neighbours gather as gardaí probe the scene in Convoy, east Donegal yesterday. Picture: North West Newspix

Laura Lynott and Stephen Maguire

Gardaí are investigating if an elderly couple died after suffering injuries in separate falls in their bedroom.

The bodies of Patrick Doherty (85) and his wife Margaret (76) were found by a relative at their home in Convoy, east Donegal, yesterday afternoon. The couple were well known in the area and moved back from the UK almost 10 years ago.

The alarm was raised at around 1.30pm and gardaí attended the scene immediately. The house was sealed off and a full forensic investigation was carried out. Donegal coroner Dr Denis McCauley also attended the scene.

The bodies were removed from the house and post-mortems are due to take place at Letterkenny University Hospital.

The course of the Garda investigation will be determined by the findings of the post mortems.

Mr Doherty worked in construction for many years and was still able to make trips to the shops up until recently, while Ms Doherty had been in and out of hospital in recent times.

A Garda source said that there was no sign of trauma to the couple and there were also no indications of a break-in to the white-washed terraced home on the outskirts of the village.

"We obviously have to examine every possible cause of death but at this stage it does not appear as if there was a break-in or that there was any sign of trauma.

"The results of the post-mortems will determine what direction any future investigation will take," said the source.

Local county councillor Liam Doherty is a relative of the late couple. He said it appeared the deaths were simply a tragic accident.

"I have spoken to gardaí and they do not believe there was a break-in or any form of gas poisoning or anything like that.

"I'm satisfied that the gardaí have done a very thorough job in trying to find out what exactly happened.

"It's just one of those tragic situations and it's very difficult for the family at this time," he said.

Mr Doherty said it would appear the couple may have suffered falls in the bedroom of their home.

"My sister found the couple and I was next there at the scene. Margaret took a fall.

"It seemed Margaret had come out of her bed and fell and possibly hit her head on the dresser."

He added: "I was in with them yesterday evening.

"Different people called in every day, to see what they needed. It's just so tragic, they're gone.

"I looked at Pat's hand, you could see the way he was lying, he was trying to help Margaret. It's a very sad day."

Irish Independent

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