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Gardaí set to make arrests over pensioner’s body brought to Carlow post office

A post-mortem examination has ruled out any foul play and established that he died within three hours before the bizarre incident.

Gardai pictured removing the body from Staplestown Road in Carlow. Picture Dylan Vaughan.

Robin Schiller

Gardaí are expected to make arrests soon as part of an investigation into reports of two men bringing a dead man into a post office and trying to claim his pension.

Witnesses said Peadar Doyle (66) was dressed up and carried into a Carlow post office by the men on Friday morning before staff became concerned for his welfare and realised he was deceased.

A post-mortem examination has ruled out any foul play and established that he died within three hours before the bizarre incident.

Two men are alleged to have tried to claim Mr Doyle’s pension before they were confronted by staff.

Gardaí investigating the incident are expected to make arrests as part of the inquiry.

Gardaí outside the post office in Carlow town on Friday. Photo: Dylan Vaughan

“They [the men] have already spoken to gardaí and other inquiries are ongoing, but officers are expecting to arrest and further question the men at some point,” a source said.

One of the men has also been assaulted since news of the incident emerged after his name and picture were shared on social media.

Gardaí are also reviewing CCTV from the area to determine how the two men could manage to bring Mr Doyle to the post office.

The investigation will focus on alleged attempted fraud, and failing to report a death, as part of their inquiry.

One of the men was well known to the deceased and both of the suspects have already given statements to gardaí about the incident.

The suspects have claimed the pensioner was alive when they left the house at Pollerton Road, around 200 metres from the post office in Staplestown Road.

They initially tried to claim his state pension without Mr Doyle being present.

When they were not handed over the social welfare payment by staff at the post office in Hosey’s shop in Carlow town, they left – only to return with the dead man.

He was dressed in a woolly jumper and a hat.

When challenged by post office staff about Mr Doyle’s welfare, the pair suggested the deceased man was having a heart attack.

Gardaí and paramedics were called to the scene as the events unfolded at around 11am on Friday. It is being investigated if he died in the bedroom of his property prior to the incident at the post office.

Mr Doyle will be laid to rest this morning following a funeral mass at the Church of the Holy Family in Askea.

A death notice said he is predeceased by his parents, Patrick and Anne, sister Angeline and brother Lar.

He is survived by his sister Noeleen, brothers-in-law and wider family and friends.

He has locally been described as a “quiet, decent man” and a vigil was organised in his memory in Carlow town last night.

A local woman who lives beside the post office told how her daughter had witnessed two men carrying a man into the shop.

“She was leaving my house at the time and said the man looked unwell as his feet were dragging the ground,” she said. The woman, who did not want to be named, said there had been a queue outside of the post office at the time.

“It’s a small shop and you’re only allowed three at a time with social-distancing.

“People were in shock as they thought he was after having a heart attack,” she said.

“I feel awful for the staff.

“They’ve suffered so many robberies over the years, they’re worn out.

“I’ve a 12-year-old daughter and I’m trying to explain to her what happened and sure where do you start? It’s awful.”

The Mayor of Carlow, Fianna Fáil Councillor Ken Murnane, expressed shock after the news emerged.

“I was absolutely shocked to hear about what happened. I cannot believe anyone would do something like that. It beggars belief, I’m just shocked,” he said.

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