Pensioner lay dead in house for up to five months

Jury called for Department of Social Welfare to do more
Jury called for Department of Social Welfare to do more

An inquest has heard how a Frenchpark pensioner may have lain dead in their home for up to five months before being discovered.

The Roscommon Herald reports on the inquest into the death of Michael Bennett of 3 Abbey Court, Frenchpark, Co Roscommon who was found dead in his home on May 10 this year.

The inquest heard how the exact date of the death of the 73-year-old couldn't be determined but using factors such as the badly decomposed body and the expiry date of items in his fridge it was possible he had been dead for up to five months.

The length of time the deceased was left undiscovered prompted the jury to call for the Department of Social Welfare to be more proactive when it came to non-collection of pensions.

"He could have been dead for four or five months and there should have been action taken after six weeks of his pension not being drawn down. We would like the systems in the Department to be reviewed," foreman of the jury Michael Scally told the inquest.

It was not unusual for Mr Bennett to only be in contact sporadically so family members only became alarmed when when he didn't reply to a letter sent in April.

His brother-in-law then visited the house and discovered the body on May 10.

The pathologist said his findings were consistent with death by natural causes and that was the verdict returned by the inquest.