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Town in shock over how man's body lay undiscovered for two months

A MAN known as a loner and a 'free spirit' whose body lay undiscovered in a tiny terraced house with a Christmas tree still lighting in the window was last seen in mid-January.

Residents of Wexford town yesterday expressed shock after it emerged nobody had missed Alan Moore -- although he had died over two months ago.

His body lay in his house until this week when a woman passing 53 Lower John Street reported to gardai that an illuminated Christmas tree was still in the window.

Mr Moore, who was originally from Manchester in England and believed to be in his 60s, was described by neighbours as a "loner" who didn't keep a regular routine or socialise.

Yesterday, a single piece of tinsel could be seen in the window of his home, where tourists regularly stopped to have their photographs taken as it was renowned as the "smallest house in Wexford".

Some passers-by had seen the Christmas tree lit up in the window and remarked that it was unusual but hadn't given it a second thought.

Des Kiely from Wexford town said: "I was taking footage of the friary on my camcorder when I noticed the lights. I thought it was unusual in February.

"I feel bad now thinking of it, but I didn't think anything of it at the time. I thought it was a one-off but if I'd seen it again, I'd have rang someone.

"I'd forgotten about it until I saw the news this morning. I can't understand why nobody noticed it.

"Those lights were on every night since Christmas, I can't believe nobody reported it until the weekend," he added.

Flowers were placed on the windowsill of the rented house yesterday where Mr Moore had lived for over six years. The home is on a busy street where hundreds of pedestrians and motorists pass every day.

Gardai were yesterday still trying to trace Mr Moore's relatives in the UK.

Local Fianna Fail councillor Fergie Kehoe, who owns the Side Tracks restaurant in the town, was one of a small group of people who knew Mr Moore. He struck up a friendship with him after Mr Moore had sought his help as a councillor in the past.

"He was a very private person. He contacted me rather than me contacting him. He was homeless when he came to Wexford first," said Mr Kehoe.

Mr Moore had also spent some time in Killarney, Co Kerry, and it's also thought he may have occasionally busked on the street.

"The last time I spoke to him was in mid-January. I wasn't worried because it wasn't unusual for him not to contact me for a while," added Mr Kehoe.

"Sometimes when I called to him, as a constituent, to update him on something, his door would be locked and he wouldn't answer the phone.

"I'd leave a note under the door but it might be a few weeks before he'd contact me."

Family

Mr Kehoe added that Mr Moore had "no real pattern" -- and had once described himself as a "free spirit".

"He used to come and go as he pleased. He'd never divulge anything about his family and I didn't ask," Mr Kehoe said.

Other residents described how they'd regularly see Mr Moore standing in his doorway smoking a cigarette. They said he was a distinctive-looking man, with long grey hair, a beard and spectacles.

Fr Aidan Walsh of the Franciscan Friary, which is located just a few steps from the house, said he knew Mr Moore to see.

"He was very much a loner. He used to sit here in the friary car park on a bench. It's very sad, a terrible tragedy and I'm very sorry indeed," he said.

ALONE, the charity that supports older people in need of assistance, has called on the public to check on neighbours in the wake of the incident.

Irish Independent