Council notice on house where remains found warned of loss of tenancy

Decomposed remains of man were found by gardaí at local authority house in Sallynoggin

Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council last October declared that the tenancy on a Sallynoggin local authority house was about to be forfeit, where the body of a man who may have been dead for a year was found on Wednesday.

A grenade and the decomposed remains of a man were found at 3 Sallynoggin Road Lower by gardaí. A notice dated October 15th, 2021, from the local authority is fixed to a metal security door.

Addressed to a Mr Michael Whiston, the notice named him as the tenant and proclaimed the house vacant and warned that the tenancy was about to be forfeited.

Gardaí who discovered the remains after removing the grenade from the house believe the man may have been dead for about a year before his remains were discovered.

Local man Ben Simpson remembered the tenant, but had not seen him for a long time. "[He] was a very striking figure with a long white beard and long white hair. He always wore a flannel, a kind of shirt, open up to the neck."

On Friday, six bunches of flowers were seen laid against the front wall of the single-story house, while a single bunch of daffodils had been left on the window sill.

Putty and paint around the window were blistered and cracked and a blackened net curtain was visible. There were thick cobwebs between the curtains and the ceiling.

Another neighbour, Aaron Wall, said he was at home at about 10.30am on Wednesday when a garda knocked and told him to leave immediately. Other gardaí called to other homes.

“They got all the neighbours out and told us to stay away. I think it was about lunch time when the cleaning crew went back in and they discovered the body,” said Mr Wall.

Rat infestation

Mr Wall, who moved into the street last December, said he had never seen the man and he believed that neighbours had raised an alarm about a rat infestation.

Sallynoggin parish priest Fr Padraig Gleeson said he had not known the man. "If he had been a member of the community we would have missed him, we would have gone asking."

Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council said that a Garda investigation is currently under way and the council “will not be issuing a statement at this time”.

Tim O'Brien

Tim O'Brien

Tim O'Brien is an Irish Times journalist

Conor Lally

Conor Lally

Conor Lally is Security and Crime Editor of The Irish Times