Sunday 17 December 2017

Death of man with mobility issues in house fire treated as 'suspicious'

Flowers placed outside the house in Carrickmacross where Gerry Marron died. Photo: Lorraine Teevan
Flowers placed outside the house in Carrickmacross where Gerry Marron died. Photo: Lorraine Teevan

Louise Kelly and Jane O'Faherty

GardaÍ in Monaghan are treating the death of a man with mobility issues in a house fire as suspicious.

The man, named locally as Gerry Marron (61), perished in the blaze at his home in Carrickmacross in the early hours of Monday morning.

However, local gardaí say they are investigating the possibility of foul play and are appealing for witnesses.

A neighbour alerted emergency services to the fire in St Macartan's Villas, Carrickmacross, at around 1.30am on Monday.

"The neighbour heard a bang and looked out of his window and saw that the house was on fire," Superintendent Alan Cunningham told the Irish Independent.

"He ran across the road and saw that the front door was slightly ajar.

"He attempted to save the man but was unable due to the ferocity of the fire."

Gardaí preserved the scene and a full forensic examination was carried out by the Cavan/Monaghan Divisional Scene of Crime Unit and the Garda Technical Bureau.

"At this stage we are unsure as to what caused the fire but we have our suspicions," Supt Cunningham said.

"Despite a full forensic and ballistic investigation we haven't been able to identify any accidental source of the fire."

An adjacent home in which an elderly woman lived was evacuated until the fire was extinguished.

Damage to Mr Marron's home was largely contained in the hallway area.

Supt Cunningham has appealed for any witnesses who may have been in the vicinity of St Macartan's Villas between 7pm last Sunday and 2am on Monday to come forward.

Gardaí are also requesting that anyone who may have been in contact with Mr Marron or visited his home in the days leading up to his death to contact them.

Local Sinn Féin councillor Padraig McNally extended his sympathies to the man's family and friends.

"I knew him pretty well," he told the Irish Independent. "I was speaking to the neighbours and they said they didn't know him very well, and said they didn't even know there was a fire until the next morning."

However, he added that the death had "nothing to do with rural crime", stressing that criminal activity was relatively low in the area.

One woman living locally called Mr Marron a "lovely man" who was well-liked by his neighbours.

"He was loved by the old people and the young people," she added, but said Mr Marron had become much quieter in later life.

Mr Marron is said to have had a successful career in construction before suffering an injury 10 years ago.

Anyone with information can contact Carrickmacross Garda Station on 042 9690190.

Irish Independent

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