GARDAI are likely to launch a murder inquiry today after a pensioner who was viciously assaulted in an attempted castration died in hospital last night.
Johnny Golden (73) suffered head and other injuries in the horrific attack at his home last month. A neighbour found him on the morning of September 7 in his small cottage in Nedd, Doogary, Killeshandra, Co Cavan.
He was taken by ambulance to Cavan General Hospital but he never recovered.
A young man was arrested on September 11 after the attack. He was held at Ballyconnell garda station. He was later released without charge.
Gardai are trying to track down any witnesses to the attack. A post-mortem is expected to be carried out later today. It is likely that the garda investigation will be upgraded to one of murder.
It is understood a poker and pliers were used in the attack in which Mr Golden suffered internal injuries.
The attack left locals in shock. Mr Golden, who had worked as a mechanic when he was younger, was a noted traditional musician.
An unmarried man, he also appeared in the book 'Vanishing Ireland' and took an active part in the Church of Ireland.
It is understood Mr Golden was an orphan and was raised in a home in Bray, Co Wicklow.
Locals were quick to praise him in the wake of the incident.
One said: "He was just a happy-go-lucky guy."
A garda spokesman said last night: "We are particularly interested in hearing from any witnesses that may have been in the vicinity of Nedd, Doogary, between 8pm on Monday, September 6, and 11am the next day."
Information should be given to Ballyconnell garda station on 049 9525580, the garda confidential line on 1800 666 111 or at any garda station.