Woman released over Wexford death


A 50-year-old woman arrested in connection with the murder of an 84-year-old man in Wexford was released from custody this evening.

A file will now be prepared for the Director of Public Prosecutions.

Walter Plunkett, a widower from Ballyrea, Ballyedmond, was found outside his home shortly before 5pm on Sunday. Gardaí began a murder investigation following confirmation that Mr Plunkett died of asphyxiation.

The woman was arrested at the scene and was detained at Enniscorthy Garda station under the provisions of Section 4 of the Criminal Justice Act 1984. It is understood she received a psychiatric assessment at Waterford Regional Hospital yesterday.

State Pathologist Prof Marie Cassidy conducted a postmortem yesterday and determined Mr Plunkett had died of asphyxiation.

The scene was preserved for a technical examination by the Garda Technical Bureau.

Gardaí are seeking the public’s help in their investigation and ask anyone who was in the townland of Ballyedmond between 8am and 5pm on Sunday to contact the incident room in Enniscorthy at 053 9242580, the Garda Confidential Line on 1800 666111, or any Garda station. The investigation is being led by Chief Supt John Roche and Insp Pat Coady.

It is believed that in the hours before his death, Mr Plunkett had told some of his neighbours he feared for his safety.

Gardaí were alerted and, when they went to the scene, found Mr Plunkett lying on the front lawn. Medical assistance was summoned but he was pronounced dead at the scene.

Neighbours described the victim as a gentle and kind man who was very active. “He still continued to drive his car. He was a very inoffensive and kind man who was well known and liked in the area,” one neighbour said.

Yesterday locals and friends who met at the pub in Ballyedmond, less than 200m from Mr Plunkett’s home, spoke of their sadness at his death. One neighbour said: “We have never experienced a tragedy like this in the area. We are all in shock.”