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Gardai probe death of "quiet, inoffensive" man during burglary at home

NewsBy Shuki Byrne
Mr O'Donoghue (62) suffered a massive heart attack upon returning home in Limerick
Mr O'Donoghue (62) suffered a massive heart attack upon returning home in Limerick

Gardai are investigating the circumstances surrounding a burglary yesterday during which a man in his 60s died.

John O'Donoghue (62) suffered a massive heart attack upon returning home and discovering intruders ransacking his house. 

The 62-year-old returned to his home in Toomaline, Co Limerick, shortly before 2pm and found burglars who had spent "many hours" ransacking the place. 

He suffered severe shock and went into cardiac arrest in front of his traumatised sister. The siblings had resided in the small home for years together. 

His sister, who is a retired nurse, attempted to resuscitate her dying brother. However, he succumbed to his injuries just yards from his front door. 

"He was returning to his home when the men ran out of the house in broad daylight. That brought on the heart attack," said a source close to the incident.

"Paramedics and neighbours were at the scene within minutes but he died on the spot.

"It is understood that there was a person in a car opposite the house acting as the getaway driver."

Fr Tony Ryan, a local cleric, said the pair had spent the morning shopping in the village of Doon, where they had purchased items for a "project" that they were working on together.

"He was quiet and inoffensive and generally kept to himself," said Fr Ryan.

"We're devastated that such a thing should happen to such a good man.

"The brother and sister had just returned from town, having made some purchases.

"His sister said the two men ran out, having rampaged through the house," the priest told the Irish Independent.

"They had been there for some time. I don't think very much was taken. He was a self-employed carpenter."

Two men have been arrested in connection with the incident. They are being questioned at Henry Street Garda Station in Limerick.

Anyone with information or who may have seen any suspicious activity in the Toomaline area this morning or this afternoon is asked to contact Bruff Garda station on 061382940.