Monday 19 February 2018

Gardaí treating death of farmer (90) as 'possibly something sinister'

Garda forensics at the scene where the man’s body was found. Photo: Provision
Garda forensics at the scene where the man’s body was found. Photo: Provision

Conor Feehan and Ryan Nugent

Gardaí are investigating the "suspicious death" of a 90-year-old farmer whose body was found slumped in a chair in his remote Waterford home with facial wounds.

Detectives in Dungarvan are investigating the circumstances surrounding the discovery of the elderly man's body in his house in Ballysaggart, Lismore, in the south of the county, close to the border with Cork.

He was named locally last night as Paddy Lyons. It is understood that Mr Lyons had been targeted in a burglary in the past.

Gardaí were called to the scene shortly after 5pm on Saturday.

Mr Lyons was found slumped in a chair in the house, but had a number of injuries to his head.

He was pronounced dead at the scene and his body remained there yesterday pending the arrival of a pathologist to carry out a preliminary examination.

His body was then removed for a post-mortem examination, but gardaí confirmed last night they are treating Mr Lyons' death as suspicious.

"It may be that the man had some sort of an accident, or it could be something sinister, but gardaí will be keeping an open mind until more information is known," said a Garda spokesman.

Gardaí are set to hold a press briefing today at the scene at Loughleagh, Ballysaggart, Lismore, Co Waterford.

Local sources said the scene cordoned off by gardaí was very remote.

"The house is about a quarter-of-a-mile up a track. You can't even see it from the road," one man said.

"I heard Mr Lyons had been targeted in a burglary in the past, but nobody really knows the circumstances around what happened to him over the weekend. It is very sad."

Local Fine Gael councillor Declan Doocey described Mr Lyons as an active man despite his age.

Read more: 'Well known and well loved' - Gardaí investigate suspicious death of man (90) in his home

"He would visit the town a few times a week, getting lifts with neighbours and people who used to look in on him," he said.

"He was a small farmer in his day, and he was a very interesting man. He had a love of sport and you'd often see him chatting to neighbours in the town and keeping in touch with what was going on.

"We're all saddened by his death and anxious to hear what gardaí come up with.

"Paddy was well known and well loved in the town of Lismore."

One local woman, who did not want to be named, who has been living in the parish for more than 40 years, said that there is a lot of confusion in the area as to what exactly happened.

She said Mr Lyons was "one of the characters" of the parish and always supported those in the area.

"He was an inoffensive man. He had a great memory of things that happened years ago, you know he was great in that line. He lived on his own for years, and when you're living in a small area, he was just one of the characters in the area," she said.

Irish Independent

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