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Fraudster's unclaimed remains spark concern

NewsBy Lynne Kelleher
Ruttles1.jpg
Ruttles1.jpg

Serial con woman Julia Holmes is still lying in a morgue and is now causing a ‘health and safety’ problem for the hospital, a source has revealed.

While Thomas Ruttle will be laid to rest in his family plot in St Mary’s Church in Askeaton on Wednesday, none of the fraudster’s relatives wish to claim her remains.

Limerick County Council are now left to resolve the situation by approving finances to lay her to rest.  There are now concerns about the health and safety implications of her remains lying in the morgue at the Limerick Regional Hospital.

One official told the Sunday World that it is the first time a body has lain unclaimed for that length of time in Limerick’s history.

“No one can ever remember this happening before. It is very sad, but none of the relatives on either side want to bury her,” said the official.

It is thought the couple made a suicide pact and died together at their home in Askeaton in Limerick, where they lay for five or six weeks before their badly decomposed bodies were stumbled upon by a gang of burglars on May 18.

Gardai said they have yet to charge the burglars who made the shocking discovery, as they are concentrating their efforts on solving the double tragedy. They are still awaiting toxicology tests to confirm the cause of death.

The death of Thomas Ruttle, who has two teenage sons, has caused deep sadness in the community. 

Julia Holmes and Thomas Ruttle

He was known as an “absolute gentleman”, in stark contrast to his wife, who left a trail of scandal, lies and debt in her wake.

The carpenter who worked on boats last checked in to his FAS workplace, where he spent 19 hours a week, on Tuesday, March 31, but his absence wasn’t noticed until the following Monday as staff had been off for the Easter holidays, while neighbours have spoken of seeing him in the first week of April.

A longtime friend of Thomas Ruttle has told how he couldn’t believe the quietly spoken, passionate beekeeper and his glamorous wife had died amid allegation of scams and bigamy.

Lesley Hartigan said: “It is very, very sad. He was just 53.  He had so much going for him. It just doesn’t make sense.” 

Neighbours insisted that both relatives and neighbours called to check in on the Ruttles in recent weeks, but concluded he had absconded with his wife due to the shame of the scandal of her past which had been exposed in late March.

“His eldest son and his mother had come calling to the house around three weeks or a month ago. He was out looking for his father,” said one local.

“His relatives had been looking in the windows and checking the doors, but they had come to the conclusion that he had gone off with Julia after it all came out in the papers.  

“Everyone is fairly shook up.   His family are in an awful way over it.”