Human remains found in boarded-up house in Cork may have been there over 20 years

Gardaí who discovered Mallow body found food dating from 2001 in fridge

Gardaí investigating the discovery of human remains in a boarded-up, derelict house in Mallow in North Cork believe the person was dead for at least 20 years after they found food items in the fridge dating from 2001.

Gardaí were alerted when Cork County Council staff set about clearing out the boarded-up single storey house on Beecher Street on the north side of Mallow town on Friday morning and discovered human remains in a bed in the house.

Gardaí cordoned off the scene and the skeletal remains, believed to be those of a man of undetermined age, were removed by Cork County Council Fire Service staff who brought them to the morgue at Cork University Hospital.

Assistant State Pathologist, Dr Margaret Bolster, is due to carry out a postmortem on the remains at CUH on Saturday in the hope it may assist gardaí in their investigation.


They are hoping the postmortem, together with dental records, will help them confirm the identity of the deceased who they believe was a reclusive man who owned the property and lived alone. Locals in the area believed the man had left Ireland for England.

Gardaí are also hoping the postmortem will give some indication as to when the man died. It is understood that garda technical experts found that although there was no electricity in the house, butter dating from 2001 was preserved in the fridge.

It is believed the house was boarded up by Cork County Council staff, although it is not yet clear when. The letter box was also boarded up meaning no mail was delivered to the house.

Gardaí are hoping a more detailed technical examination may assist them. They are also searching for other evidence that the man died in the 2000s, including old newspapers, medication or correspondence.

At this stage, there is nothing to suggest that foul play was a factor in the man’s death.

Gardaí have begun door-to-door inquiries in the area as they seek to establish when neighbours last saw the occupant of the house alive.

They are also checking with utility providers to find out when the electricity was switched off and who arranged for it to be disconnected. Establishing if the occupant was in receipt of social welfare payments and when he stopped collecting them may also give a clue as to the timing of his death.

Gardaí also plan to check with mobile phone providers to see if the occupant of the house had an account. They have made preliminary inquiries to track down the man’s relatives, pending confirmation of his identity.

Gardaí are preparing a file for an inquest at the North Cork Coroner’s Court. They have asked anyone with any information to contact them at Mallow Garda station on 022-31450.

Barry Roche

Barry Roche

Barry Roche is Southern Correspondent of The Irish Times