Gardaí investigating the death of a pensioner in Carlow, and how his remains were handled, have ruled out foul play in his death.
The inquiry is now focused on whether two men tried to use the dead man’s remains as a means of collecting his pension.
A postmortem established that Peader Doyle (66) from the Pollerton Road area of Carlow Town had just died before the alarm was raised.
There were also no signs of any injury on his body and no other signs of foul play in his death have come to light.
The two men propping up his remains in Hosey’s post office on Staplestown Road were both known to Mr Doyle.
One of them went voluntarily to Carlow Garda station to give a statement in which he insisted that the deceased was alive when they left home and had taken a drink of water just before leaving.
Garda sources said the investigation was trying to determine when and where Mr Doyle died, if his body was mistreated or mishandled in a criminal manner, and if an effort was made to fraudulently collect his pension.
The postmortem process cannot determine an exact time of a death, though it can give an estimate. This means it will be impossible to establish medically if Mr Doyle died at his home, on the way to the post office or on the premises as those events were all happened in a matter of minutes.
Garda sources said that as the medical evidence gathered so far suggested Mr Doyle had just died, the possibility that this happened in the post office has not been ruled out. In that case, no criminal charges would arise as no offence would have been committed
CCTV recorded along the route from Mr Doyle’s home to the post office is being sought. Gardaí are hopeful that this could help to determine if Mr Doyle was being carried or propped up for the entire journey or if he was able to walk, or at least move, for some of the 500m walk.
The bizarre incident occurred at Hosey’s shop and post office at about 11.30am on Friday. Paramedics and gardai called when it became clear Mr Doyle was dead, though his fully clothed remains were being propped up by two men who were trying to collect his pension.
When staff were alerted by a concerned customer, who tried to speak to Mr Doyle, the pension was not paid to the two men, who departed the scene and left the remains of Mr Doyle behind.
The scene was sealed off and a pathologist examined the remains in situ before they were removed on Friday evening for a full postmortem.
Could not collect
Earlier on Friday morning, one of the men went to the post office alone in an effort to collect Mr Doyle’s pension, saying the pensioner was ill and could not come himself. However, he was informed that Mr Doyle would have to collect it himself. It appears that man then went to Mr Doyle’s house and, with the help of another man, brought him to the post office.
Mr Doyle’s death notice states that he died “suddenly” and that he was “predeceased by his parents Patrick and Anne, sister Angeline and brother Lar”.
It added that he was "sadly missed by his heartbroken sister Noeleen, brothers-in-law Liam Dowling and Christopher Haughney, nephews, nieces, grand-nephews, grand-nieces, relatives and friends".
Mr Doyle’s remains are due to repose at R Healy & Son Funeral Home at Pollerton Castle, Carlow on Sunday evening “for family and close friends”. His funeral Mass is due to take place on Monday at the Church of the Holy Family, Askea, Carlow Town, at 11am.