Gardaí treating death of man in Macroom sheltered housing as suspicious

Body of 61-year-old Michael Foley found with head injuries at his home in Co Cork town

Gardaí say they are treating as suspicious the death of a 61-year-old man who was found with serious head injuries at a sheltered housing complex in Macroom, Co Cork.

The body of Michael Foley was found at his home at Annville in Barrett’s Place near the centre of the town at 1pm on Tuesday by a home help.

It is understood that Mr Foley, who lived alone, was found with extensive head injuries in the kitchen area of the four room chalet, one of seven in the Cork County Council-owned complex.

Mr Foley, a separated father of four originally from Clonakilty, had been living at the complex for about year, having previously lived in a flat in Ballineen in west Cork.


Gardaí investigating his death cordoned off the scene and scenes of crime examiners began a preliminary examination of the chalet.

Assistant State Pathologist Dr Margot Bolster arrived at scene at about 7pm and carried out a preliminary examination of the body.

Mr Foley’s remains were brought to the mortuary at Cork University Hospital where Dr Bolster will carry out a full postmortem on Wednesday.

According to the Garda Press Office, the results of the postmortem will determine the course of the investigation, but it is understood gardaí believe that foul play was a factor in Mr Foley’s death.

“At the moment we’re not sure what exactly happened in the flat, but the deceased had serious head injuries and it looks as though he was the victim of a pretty vicious assault,” said one source.

Gardaí found no evidence of forced entry at the property and a preliminary examination in the house revealed nothing was missing, suggesting that robbery was not a motive.

Investigators have begun harvesting CCTV footage from the area to see who may have visited Mr Foley as, although he lived alone, he frequently invited people he met in town to join him at his home.

They are also liaising with several businesses in Macroom, including shops, pubs and off licences, to see whether Mr Foley had called to them in recent days and if he was alone or with others.

Initial door-to-door inquiries suggest that Mr Foley was last seen alive sometime on Saturday.

Gardaí are examining phone records to see when he was last in contact with people. They are also liaising with the local post office to see when he last collected his social welfare payments and with banks to see when he last carried out any cash withdrawals.

An incident room has been established at Macroom Garda station and investigators have appealed to anyone who may have seen any suspicious activity in Annville or Barrett’s Place to contact them.

They are particularly anxious to speak to anyone who may have been driving in the area including people using the local Supervalu and Castle Hotel car parks and may have dash cam footage that might assist them.

Anyone with any information is asked to contact Macroom Garda station on 026 20590, the Garda Confidential Line on 1800 666 111, or any Garda station.

Mr Foley’s brother, Timmy Foley (44) was stabbed to death at his home at Dan Corkery Place in Macroom on October 8th 2018. Timmy Foley’s wife, Rita O’Driscoll from Bandon was later convicted and sentenced to life in jail for her husband’s murder which happened less than 500 metres from where Micky Foley was found.

Mr Foley, who is predeceased by his daughter, Annette is survived by his three daughters, Caroline, Kate and Shelley as well as his sisters, Mary and Ann.

“We’re all just shocked – he used to be up and down to me in the city and I spoke to him on Thursday and he was in good form,” said Ann, as she and her sister laid a floral tribute by the Garda cordon.

His sister Mary explained that Macroom had a sad association for the Foley family but she said that Michael seemed content to live in the town.

“I asked him how did he live here after what happened Timmy and he said ‘I’d have known most of the people Timmy knew here and sometimes it draws a bit of comfort to me’. He was happy here.”

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Barry Roche

Barry Roche

Barry Roche is Southern Correspondent of The Irish Times