Thursday 14 December 2017

Man to be charged as gardaí believe 'poker' used to murder Paddy (90)

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

Ralph Riegel, Tom Brady and Ryan Nugent

Waterford murder victim Paddy Lyons (90) was struck repeatedly about the head and face with a heavy blunt object like a poker or an iron bar.

A man in his 20s is expected to be charged with the murder of the pensioner today.

Flowers outside Paddy Lyons's house Photo: Frank McGrath
Flowers outside Paddy Lyons's house Photo: Frank McGrath

Gardaí investigating the brutal murder believe that between six and 10 people were in the pensioner's farmhouse in the 48 hours before his death.

Sources admitted forensic officers examining the farmer's isolated Ballysaggart home in west Waterford were facing "significant work".

The condition of both the inside and outside of the house is understood to be decrepit - with half a dozen members of Garda search teams on the scene again yesterday afternoon.

Read more: Gardai seal off Tipperary home as murder investigation continues into the death of pensioner

When bachelor Mr Lyons was discovered lying slumped in a chair in the kitchen of his home last Saturday, his face was covered in blood.

He had suffered severe blows to his head and face, resulting in broken bones, as well as arm injuries thought to have been inflicted as he tried to shield his head from further attack.

It is understood that a substantial amount of forensic material, ranging from fingerprints to DNA samples and clothing fibres, has now been recovered from the property.

And a number of items are also being examined to determine if they may have been used as the weapon in the fatal assault on Mr Lyons. However, none were found to be blood-stained - leading detectives to suspect that the murder weapon may have been removed from the property.

Gardaí are also examining security camera footage from business properties in Lismore, Cappoquin and Ballyduff in a bid to determine the movements of specific individuals on Friday and Saturday.

Separately, gardaí investigating the murder of the pensioner raided a house in Tipperary and seized clothing and other items for forensic examination.

Detectives, forensics and search teams combed the house all day yesterday having arrived there late on Monday night.

Gardaí are still trying to establish if Mr Lyons was robbed after the attack.

Read more: Murder victim Paddy (90) 'invited killer into his home'

He was known to collect his pension payments in Lismore on Fridays, when he was taken to the town by a neighbour and carer.

Gardaí said he was murdered between 5pm on Friday and 5pm on Saturday last. He had been the victim of burglary several times in the past.

Officers said last night that they had made progress with their inquiries and had interviewed neighbours and others known to have called to his house regularly.

Meanwhile, the suspect in his 20s was still being questioned about the brutal murder and was being held at Dungarvan garda station under section 4 of the 1984 Criminal Justice Act.

Gardaí are also awaiting the outcome of forensic tests on blood samples taken from Mr Lyons's home.

One of the samples has already been identified as belonging to the murder victim. Gardaí hope tests on the second sample could help them determine the identity of his killer.

Irish Independent

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