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Pensioner found shot dead in Castlebar had been acquitted of sex crime days before death

He was acquitted in that case, however he was facing further, separate charges

The scene at a house where a man was shot dead at Pheasanthill, Castlebar, Co Mayo. Photo: Padraig O'Reilly

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Eavan Murray and Aoife

A pensioner who was found shot dead in his home had appeared in court in the days before his death in relation to an historic sex crime.

He was acquitted in that case, however he was facing further, separate charges.

The elderly man was single and had lived all his life with his brother, until his brother’s death several years ago.

He has one surviving sister.

The dead man was found inside the house in the Pheasanthill area of Castlebar, Co Mayo, at around 6.30pm yesterday evening.

Gardaí and emegency services raced to the scene following reports the house was on fire.

When they arrived, they found the body of the pensioner inside the house. It is understood he suffered a gunshot wound.

A man, aged in his 60s, was arrested on suspicion of murder and was brought to Castlebar garda station where he was being held last night under Section 4 of the Criminal Justice Act.

One local representative described the situation as “horrendous”.

“It is a desperate situation. I couldn’t possibly say anything as it’s so sensitive but I am praying for all involved,” they added.

Fine Gael Councillor Cyril Burke from the Mayo County Council said the incident was “a massive shock” to the Castlebar community.

Speaking to the Irish Independent, he said: “It’s a massive shock, you don’t expect to hear this type of thing in a rural community.

“Particularly in that neighbourhood, which is in the outskirts of Castlebar, it’s a quiet area, there is never really any trouble there.

“The community is in shock, people were very surprised by this news, really in total shock because they wouldn’t have been expecting anything like this.”

Gardaí in Castlebar have appealed to anyone who may have information in relation to this incident to contact them at Castlebar garda station on 094 903 8200, the Garda Confidential Line on 1800 666 111, or any garda station.

Gardaí said their investigations are ongoing.

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