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garda probe Family member tells of shock as couple found dead at house in Cavan may have died from accidental poisoning

Officers will use toxicology tests to establish if that is the case.

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Rolandas Jarmalavicius

Rolandas Jarmalavicius

Rolandas Jarmalavicius

A man and woman found dead at a remote house in Co Cavan may have died from accidental poisoning, gardaí believe.

Officers will use toxicology tests to establish if that is the case.

The couple were today named locally as Rolandas Jarmalavicius and Rita Martinkiene, both in their 40s and originally from Lithuania.

There were no signs of forced entry at the house near Belturbet, and while gardaí are keeping an open mind in the early stages of the investigation it is understood that one line of investigation is accidentally poisoning may have caused or contributed to their deaths.

There were no initial obvious signs of injuries to the bodies according to sources, but the results of the post mortems will direct which way the garda investigation proceeds.

Rolandas and Rita were partners, and while they did not have children together Rita was a mother of two grown-up children from a previous relationship.

Today Rolandas’s brother Darius spoke of how he was a hard working man trying to make a better life for himself.

“Rolandas came to Ireland with Rita around six or seven years ago. They would have known each other for a few years before that in Lithuania,” Darius told SundayWorld.com.

“They had no English when they came, so they were trying to learn the language, save a bit of money and make a better life for themselves here.”

“They thought Ireland was a better place than Lithuania.

“We went up there to the house yesterday because we had not seen them for a few days, and we couldn’t find them. Then later my cousin went up and looked in the window and said they could just see someone on the floor inside. They could see their legs,” he added.

The emergency services were called and the two bodies were found inside.

They remained there today while a forensic examination took place, and were removed from the scene just before noon.

The house is a small old style farmhouse with some outhouses set in off the road at Drumbrawn, near the townland of Cloverhill not far from the border with Northern Ireland.

It is an area used mainly for farming and forestry, with just a few homes on the hilly landscape.

“I’d say they were living here around seven years, and they kept to themselves. They wave as they went by in the car. I don’t think they had any children,” said Margaret Boylan who lives closeby.

“They both worked in an egg packing place across the border. They were hard workers. I thought I saw one of them up at the house on Friday.”

“We were very shocked to hear what happened. It’s a bed feeling, because this is a very quiet area. We don’t know what happened yet,” she added.

Another neighbour said he saw gardai at the house yesterday while he was checking cattle.

“I didn’t know what was happening so I went up to the fence around the house and the gardai said I couldn’t go any further. I knew there was something wrong when I saw the ambulance there, but we don’t know what happened,” he said.

“They were living up there around eight years. They were a hard working couple. I got them to do some work on the farm over the years.”

“This is a quiet rural area and you don’t expect this kind of thing to happen,” he added.

Garda in Belturbet are investigating.

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