Monday 16 December 2019

Pensioner quizzed over 'assault' on man (64) who later died in hospital

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Stock photo
Robin Schiller

Robin Schiller

A pensioner allegedly assaulted a man who later died after accusing the deceased of being involved in a relationship with his ex-wife.

Gardaí in Galway arrested a man in his 70s following the alleged incident in Connemara over the weekend.

The man has since been released without charge, and a post-mortem examination confirmed the deceased had a heart condition, which contributed to his death.

The dead man was named locally as Charles Townsend (64). He died after an alleged assault at a house in the Ballinahown area on Sunday morning.

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The respected osteopath was in the residential property with the female homeowner, when the woman's ex-partner returned to the house.

A row ensued and Mr Townsend, who is originally from the Ballisodare area of Sligo, was allegedly assaulted, before taking ill.

Emergency services were alerted and he was rushed to University Hospital Galway, but was pronounced dead a short time later.

The other man was later arrested by gardaí.

He was held at Galway Garda Station under Section 4 of the Criminal Justice Act.

Last night, gardaí said the man had been released without charge from custody and that a file would now be prepared for the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP).

"He was a highly respected osteopath whose work was known around the country, so whether the claim of being in a relationship with the woman is accurate has to be definitively established," a source said.

"The investigation will not be upgraded to murder, as the deceased had a heart condition and this was confirmed by the post-mortem," the source added.

Gardaí have said they are following a definite line of inquiry as part of the investigation.

The female occupant of the house, understood to be of Asian descent, has also spoken to investigators.

The post-mortem examination into Mr Townsend's death was concluded yesterday afternoon.

"Investigations are ongoing," a spokeswoman said.

Gardaí previously said they were investigating all of the circumstances surrounding the death of a man in his 60s following an incident at a house in Connemara, Co Galway.

"Gardaí were called to a house in Ballinahown, Connemara, where ambulance service personnel were treating a man in 60s following an alleged assault," a statement said.

"The man was removed from the scene by ambulance to University Hospital Galway, where he later passed away," the Garda statement added.

Irish Independent

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