A RECTOR has described the discovery of a badly charred body in an outbuilding behind a church as "tragic".
Fire brigade units and gardai rushed to Christ Church in Bray, Co Wicklow, at about 3.45am yesterday after a 999 call alerted them to an intensive blaze in a cabin on its grounds.
Rector Baden Stanley said it was unknown how the unidentified person had come to be inside the temporary one-room cabin used by the Church of Ireland for Sunday school classes.
"We don't know whether it was a man or a woman, we weren't aware they were there," Rector Baden Stanley said. "It is just tragic."
People at the scene said a number of homeless men were known to occasionally squat in the area.
Gardai said they were keeping an open mind until tests at the scene were completed. The body was removed shortly after 2pm for a post-mortem examination.
"We've had people break in and stay in very bad weather," the rector said.
He said the fire had consumed the cabin and he described it as "intensive".
At around 5am firefighters discovered the badly charred remains.
John Brady, a Bray town councillor, said churchgoers believed a homeless man may have been using the cabin
"It is just an assumption at this stage. But, unfortunately, Bray is not unlike many other towns around the country. There are serious issues in terms of homelessness, there is no hostel in Bray," he said.