AN elderly man who was found dead in a psychiatric ward was due be transferred to a nursing home in a matter of days.
Michael Treanor, an 82-year-old single farmer from Carrickroe, Co Monaghan, was found dead at 7am on Monday morning at Cavan General Hospital.
The grim discovery was made by staff who immediately contacted the gardai. The pensioner had been living alone on the family farm since his sister's death 10 years ago.
Two years ago, he developed an aggressive form of Alzheimer's disease and was at first receiving outreach care from St Davnet's psychiatric unit in Monaghan, but was eventually admitted to Cavan General Hospital when his condition worsened.
His parish priest, Fr Sean Nolan, told the Irish Independent the tight-knit local community of Carrickroe was "deeply saddened" by what had occurred.
He said the timing of Mr Treanor's death was "very unfortunate" as he had been due to be transferred to Castleross Nursing Home, a retirement village in Carrickmacross, Co Monaghan, early next week.
The transfer was being organised by his nephew Michael McKenna, who also works in the mental-health services.
Mr McKenna said the family was "shocked, distraught and extremely saddened" by what had occurred. However, they had nothing but praise for the care Mr Treanor received while at Cavan General Hospital.
Mr McKenna described his uncle as a "kindly man, with a great sense of the ridiculous".
He said: "My uncle received the best possible care at Cavan General. We have nothing but praise for how he was treated. The nursing staff were very fond of him and all of his needs were met every day.
"I just feel sorry for the young nurses who were on that night and made the discovery. It is very sad for our family and for the family of the accused," he added.
The proprietor of McMahon's pub in nearby Emyvale, where Mr Treanor often enjoyed a pint, said: "He was a good old farmer. We are all very sad as his death will spell the end of the Treanor clan. He was a lovely man."
Mr Treanor will be buried at Carrickroe Church following a wake at the family farm in Carrickroe.