Gardaí are investigating if a man killed in a road traffic crash in Co Monaghan early on Thursday morning was at a house nearby when a 60-year-old man was fatally assaulted.
The older man’s body was discovered at about 6am, while the other man (37) was killed in the road crash at 7am about 3km from the murder scene.
Any relationship or dispute between the two men was being examined, as well as any allegations made about either man. Gardaí on Thursday searched fields and undergrowth in the area between the murder house and the crash scene, looking for weapons or anything else of evidential value.
Local gardaí were first alerted when the remains of the 60-year-old man were found at his home at Knockreagh Lower, Broomfield. When gardaí arrived at the scene, the homeowner was dead in the property and had injuries consistent with a sustained violent attack. It is understood the man lived alone and was found dead by a family member who called to his house.
About 30 minutes after arriving at that scene in Knockreagh Lower, gardaí were alerted to the road traffic crash a short distance away in which a man had been fatally struck by a driver in a car close to the Border. That crash occurred at Ballynacarry Bridge on the N53, Castleblayney to Dundalk Road, Co Monaghan. A car with a number of occupants hit the man, who died instantly at the scene.
While gardaí in Castleblayney were investigating the killing of the man in his home in Knockreagh Lower, about 2km off the main Derry to Dublin road, and gardaí in Carrickmacross launched an inquiry into the fatal road traffic crash, detectives now strongly suspect the two deaths are linked.
They were trying to determine if the 37-year-old, who had an address in south Armagh, was at the house early on Thursday morning in Knockreagh Lower when the 60-year-old man was killed. The younger man was on foot and walking northward, towards the Border, when he died.
Gardaí sealed off the house at Knockreagh Lower and also the scene of the road traffic crash, and both underwent examinations by the Garda Technical Bureau and crash scene investigators throughout Thursday.
The remains of the man killed in the road crash, and the car involved in the incident, were both at the scene throughout Thursday as investigators examined the area. The remains of the deceased man were covered with a forensic tent to preserve any evidence on his body or clothing that may link him to the house at Knockreagh Lower or rule out a link.
Meanwhile, the body of the older man killed in his house was left in situ at the property while members of the Garda Technical Bureau examined the detached house, which is located up a bohereen. State Pathologist Dr Linda Mulligan examined the remains at the scene on Thursday afternoon before they were removed to the mortuary in Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital, Drogheda, Co Louth, where a postmortem is due to take place on Friday morning.
The body of the 37-year-old man was also examined at the scene of the fatal crash by Dr Margot Bolster before being removed to Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital. The postmortem on that man’s remains is also due to take place on Friday morning.
The road where the crash occurred was sealed off for most of Thursday but has now reopened, though the house at Knockreagh Lower was expected to remain sealed off for several days as investigations continue.
Gardaí in Carrickmacross investigating the death of the 37-year-old man in the crash have appealed for anyone who was around the scene at the time of the incident to come forward. They made a special appeal to anyone who was recording dashcam footage in the area.
Furthermore, gardaí in Castleblayney investigating the killing of the older man have also launched an appeal for witnesses. They have urged anyone who was in the Broomfield area between 5am and 6.45am to contact them.