In the News: The strange death of Margaret Bracken

Family frustrated by Garda action after Dundalk woman’s passing in December 2019

Susan Bracken holding a photo of her mother Margaret Bracken who died in unusual circumstances in her home just outside Dundalk in 2019. Photograph: Alan Betson

Shortly before Christmas 2019, the body of Margaret Bracken was found naked in the hallway of her Dundalk home.

She was in her late 60s, a heavy smoker and had a diagnosed heart condition as well as other health concerns so her passing was not initially viewed by gardaí as suspicious.

It was quickly determined that there was no need to establish a crime scene, look for fingerprints or ask the family if anything was out of place in the house. A tragedy for the Brackens but nothing more.



Some members of her family quickly formed a different view and they started noticing things were amiss. A box, usually kept by the television and used to control the CCTV in front of the house, was gone. Margaret’s handbag was nowhere to be seen. Two of her daughters believe it contained thousands of euro from a lottery win a few years ago.

A postmortem showed Margaret had died of a heart attack. Her daughters do not dispute this but they want to know what happened before their mother’s heart stopped beating.

Their search for more details about her death was hampered because gardaí never examined the scene and the house has since been sold which means the answers they seek seem a long way off. But they are continuing to ask the questions about the strange passing of Margaret Bracken.

In the News is presented by reporters Sorcha Pollak and Conor Pope.

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