Gardaí are investigating the death of a man in Carlow town, whose body was brought into a post office by two others in what appeared to be an attempt to claim the deceased’s pension.
The bizarre series of events began when a man entered the post office at Hosey’s shop on Staplestown Road at about 11.30 am on Friday.
The man wanted to collect a pension payment on behalf of an older man but was informed by a staff member that the pensioner would have to be present if a payment was to be made.
The man left the post office and returned a short time later with two other men, one of whom was in his 60s. The two younger men are understood to have sought a pension payment for the third man, who it appeared was being propped up.
A woman who had become suspicious of the men’s movements alerted a post office staff member and no cash was handed over.
The body of the older man, who was dead, was left at the scene when the two younger men fled after suspicions were raised. Gardaí and emergency services were notified and the man was declared dead some time later.
An ambulance crew and several gardaí attended at the scene. It is understood there were CCTV cameras operating in the post office at the time.
The deceased man, named locally as Peadar Doyle, is believed to have been in his late 60s and a resident of Pollerton Road, close to the post office.
A house in Pollerton Road has been sealed off by gardaí as a crime scene.
Fine Gael Cllr Fergal Browne said the incident was “shocking and very upsetting for everyone locally”. It was especially distressing for the staff at the post office who witnessed what happened, he said.
He described the deceased as a “decent guy, very well regarded and liked and caused no offence to anybody”.
“You couldn’t make up what happened,” he said, adding that he thought the story was made up when he first heard it.
“It’s unreal. You are looking at it as a rational person, but whoever did this were not rational.”
A woman working in a beauty and nail salon across the road from the post office described the incident as “unbelievable”. She was alerted to the commotion after seeing an ambulance and Garda cars outside the post office shortly before noon on Friday
“It’s all anyone has been talking about . . . it is unbelievable,” she said.
A Garda spokesman confirmed that officers were investigating “all the circumstances surrounding the unexplained death of an elderly male in the Carlow area”.
The spokesman said the services of the Garda Technical Bureau had been requested and that a postmortem would be conducted by the Office of the State Pathologist. The results of the postmortem would help to determine the course of the investigation, he said.
The man’s body was removed from the scene on Friday night and sources said the focus of Garda inquiries would be on identifying the cause and time of the man’s death.