Dead or alive? | 

Men who took 'corpse' to post office say 'he was alive when we left the house'

One of the men, Gareth Coakley, told the Sunday World they had given the deceased man, Peadar Doyle, "a glass of water to drink before we left."

Declan Haughney claims he was assaulted over the incident

Patrick O'Connell

TWO MEN under investigation over suspicions they brought a dead man to the post office to claim his pension yesterday insisted to the Sunday World: "He was alive when we left the house."

One of the men, Gareth Coakley, told the Sunday World they had given the deceased man, Peadar Doyle, "a glass of water to drink before we left."

Peadar's nephew Declan Haughney, who was also at the post office, was bleeding freely from a number of facial wounds as he told this newspaper he had been 'attacked' over what had been said about him on social media.

Declan Haughney

A post-mortem was carried out yesterday on the remains of 66-year-old former painter Peadar.

It confirmed his passing was not suspicious and estimated the time of death as having occurred on Friday morning.

Peadar had been brought into Hosey's shop in Carlow at 11am on Friday, propped up by his nephew Declan Haughney and Gareth, to collect his pension.

But the men dropped him after Gareth said Peadar became "heavier and heavier" and "I couldn't hold him anymore".

Speaking with the Sunday World, Gareth said he had stayed over at Peadar's with Declan on Thursday night and had agreed to help him bring the pensioner to the post office on Friday morning.

Gareth Coakley with Pat O' Connell

"I was in the house drinking, right," he said. "I was minding me own business and I passed out at about 12 o'clock."

Gareth said the next morning Declan went to the post office to collect Peadar's money.

"He (Declan) had asked the woman in the post office if he could collect the payment and she said: 'No, you may bring him down.'

"He told her he was sick, but they wouldn't listen. So then Deccy asked if I would give him a hand to bring him down because they wouldn't pay him.

Gardai at the scene in Carlow. Picture Dylan Vaughan.

"I was to go upstairs and put the man's runners on and he (Declan) goes: 'Will you go downstairs and get me a glass of water?'

"And we gave him the drink of water and that. And then we sort of had to lift him up and bring him the whole way down to the post office but sure he never even got the chance to get his money.

"He probably died in the post office - at the ice-cream freezer, I'd say that's where he dropped off."

Asked whether Peadar had been talking while in his bedroom, Gareth said he had.

A man who identified himself as Gareth's relative said he had just been to the Garda station with Gareth to give a statement.

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

Gareth continued: "The papers are saying he was already dead but that's bullsh*t.

"He was alive - 100 per cent.

"We're hardly going to drag a dead man down the road, for f**k sake. He was still alive, and the autopsy will prove there was water in his system and what time he died.

"What's going on social media is destroying me family name!

"And that's the reason I went down to the Garda station and the garda shook our hands and said thanks for the information."

Asked what exactly happened in the post office, Gareth said: "He got heavier and heavier and then he started falling to the floor and I couldn't hold him anymore.

"People tried to save him.

"I called for an ambulance and they asked if there was defibrillator there.

"I said 'no' but there was one across the road in the community centre.

"And a woman ran across to the community centre and got the defibrillator, but it was way too late - he was gone by then."

Gareth's relative continued: "He (Gareth) seen the dead body and he freaked out and he said: 'Deccy, I don't know what to do here man and I'm going to go."

Gareth continued: "I said 'I'm sorry about your uncle man, see you after!' !

"I was only doing him a favour by helping to bring his uncle down to get his money. But he died there. I've told the guards everything and people might call me a rat but f**k that. My family's name is being destroyed over this. It's a f**king joke."

As our reporter was speaking with Gareth and his brother, Declan Haughney approached bleeding freely from a number of facial wounds and gashes.

When we put what Gareth had told us to Declan Haughney, he told us: "He was … yeah. I'm after being beat up over this."

We called to the post office in Hosey's shop yesterday but staff there declined to comment.

Similarly, Peadar's Doyle's brother Christopher declined to comment, while a young man who answered the door at the home of Peadar's sister Noleen said the family did not wish to speak to the media.

Friends of Peadar's yesterday told the Sunday World that Peadar and his brother Lawrence, who were both talented painters by trade, had lived at number 199 Pollerton Road for decades. Peadar also helped rear his nephew Declan at that address.

Peadar suffered from heart-related medical difficulties and Lawrence helped care for him. But tragedy befell the brothers when Lawrence was diagnosed with cancer.

Home of Peadar Doyle

Lawrence subsequently died on October 4, 2020 at St. Luke's Hospital.

A neighbour of Peadar's yesterday described him as a quiet and gentle old man.

"My best memory of Peadar is from last summer," she said.

"It's so sad what's after happening. Him and Lawrence were just lovely."

There have been no arrests so far in the case. Both Gareth Coakley and Declan Haughney were interviewed by gardaí and have given statements.

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