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Tuesday 22 January 2019

Pictured: Father-of-three found dead at his own home 'with suspected head injuries'

  • Father-of-three found dead 'with suspected head injuries' at his home
  • Has been named locally as Joe O'Callaghan
  • 21 year old man voluntarily presented himself at garda station following discovery of body
  • He is being questioned by gardai
Joe O'Callaghan (inset) was found dead at his home in Douglas, Cork Photo: Provision
Joe O'Callaghan (inset) was found dead at his home in Douglas, Cork Photo: Provision
Family, friends and gardai at the scene where a body was found at Galway Lane, Douglas, Cork Photo: Michael Mac Sweeney/Provision

Ralph Riegel

GARDAÍ are questioning a young man about the discovery of a Cork pensioner's body in a pool of blood in his own home.

The 21 year old man, who has a Cork address, voluntarily presented himself at Togher Garda Station following the discovery of the body of Joe O'Callaghan (66) in his home at Galway's Lane, Douglas, Cork.

He is now being questioned under Section 4 of the Criminal Justice Act in relation to the death of Mr O'Callaghan.

The young man is known to Mr O'Callaghan.

Gardaí can question the young man for a period of up to 24 hours before a decision must be made to charge or release him.

Gardaí have stressed that the nature of their investigation will be determined by a post mortem examination to be conducted on the body of

Mr O'Callaghan at Cork University Hospital (CUH), which may not be completed until tomorrow afternoon.

Mr O'Callaghan, a father of three, is feared to have died from extensive head injuries.

His body was discovered by his shocked wife, Angeline, at 8am after she returned to the property having worked a nightshift.

The woman, who moved to Ireland from Africa a number of years ago, immediately alerted Gardaí and paramedics.

Mr O'Callaghan's neighbour, who said he was too scared to be identified, said he lives within metres of the property and went to bed on Sunday night only to hear the sound of a commotion outside.

"I thought it was around midnight but I've been told it was around 1am when I suddenly heard a loud bang," he said.

The noise appeared to be coming from outside Mr O'Callaghan's house, a bungalow in an area largely occupied by elderly residents.

Mr O'Callaghan had staged parties at his property over recent years which had prompted neighbours to lodge complaints with the gardaí.

Neighbours acknowledged they had been concerned by some of those attending Mr O'Callaghan's late night parties.

The father of three was regularly seen out socialising in Douglas pubs.

"I heard shouting and then a loud bang," the neighbour told

"Someone was shouting; 'Open the f***ing door. Open the f***ing door.'

Then I heard what I thought was the sound of a door banging."

The neighbour, who was in bed, thought it was the sound of Mr O'Callaghan slamming shut an internal door in his home.

When there was no further noise from outside, the man went to sleep and did not alert Gardaí, satisfied that nothing was untoward outside.

"Now I'm being told it was likely the sound of the (O'Callaghan) front door being kicked in," the man said.

Another neighbour told Gardaí a man in his late 20s and early 30s was seen walking from Mr O'Callaghan's home on Sunday night or the early hours of Monday morning.

The man was wearing dark clothing and appeared to have dark hair.

However, Gardaí stressed that the nature of their investigation will now be determined by the results of a post mortem examination to be

conducted by Assistant State Pathologist Dr Margaret Bolster.

Mr O'Callaghan was discovered lying in a pool of blood in the hall of his home.

However, there were no indications anything was missing from the bungalow.

Bloodstains were found throughout two rooms of the property.

The man's shocked wife immediately raised the alarm and Gardaí and paramedics raced to the bungalow.

The property is one of about a dozen occupied by elderly people and located to the side of Douglas GAA club.

Another neighbour, John O'Sullivan, was alerted by Mr O'Callaghan's wife over what had happened and assisted her while the Gardaí raced to the scene.

Mr O'Sullivan described the incident as "very scary."

"There are mostly old people living here," he said.

Another neighbour Clement Collins said it was "very upsetting."

"We are very shocked, really," he said.

"This is a very quiet area. I walked up to see what was happening this morning when I saw all the Garda cars and couldn't believe it when I

was told someone was dead."

"It is a bit worrying, to be honest."

Mr Collins said there had been an increase in anti-social behaviour in the area over recent times, particularly involving youngsters abusing

alcohol and drugs.

"But there has been nothing like this. It is very, very sad."

Despite desperate efforts to resuscitate the 66 year old, Mr O'Callaghan was pronounced dead at the scene by paramedics.

Gardaí immediately sealed off the area.

The scene is being preserved pending the arrival of Dublin-based officers from the Garda Technical Bureau.

Dr Bolster will conduct a preliminary examination at the scene before later carrying out a full post mortem examination at Cork University

Hospital (CUH).

That post mortem examination may extend into tomorrow.

Gardaí commenced door to door inquiries to determine if anyone heard or saw anything suspicious in the area.

The deceased's wife was comforted at the scene by a number of African friends.

Mr O'Callaghan is originally from the Grange area and is from a family of six.

He lived in the Rochestown areas for a time before relocating five years ago to the property off Galway's Lane.

It is understood the deceased had been battling a number of very serious health conditions over recent times.

His family members visited the scene today to be briefed by Gardaí on developments.

Locals said the deceased was very well known in the area and regularly socialised in a number of Douglas pubs.

The deceased was renting his property from Cork Co Council.

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