GARDAÍ are investigating the death of an elderly man discovered outside his home on an isolated rural laneway between Newtown and Bagenalstown on Sunday morning.
John Mahony (84) of Rathhayden, Bagenalstown was found in dwindling health outside his house in the sub-zero temperatures of Storm Emma around 8.30am on Sunday morning. He was taken from his home to St Luke’s Hospital, Kilkenny by ambulance, where he received emergency treatment, but he sadly passed away a short time later.
The circumstances surrounding Mr Mahony’s death or how long he was outside remain unclear, but his home is located up a rural laneway described as “inaccessible” in recent days due to the snow.
A single man living alone, it is understood that Mr Mahony did not have a phone or a panic button but was visited regularly by his neighbours, particularly over the recent cold snap. Locals have described how Mr Mahony, a farmer, had been in poor health recently and was “in and out of respite” over the past few months.
“Some of them lanes would have had eight foot of snow on them and have been inaccessible over the past few days, but I know he did have very good neighbours checking on him regularly,” said Bagenalstown councillor Arthur McDonald.
“He was born and reared in that house in Rathhayden and was a very independent man.”
Fr Declan Foley, PP, Bagenalstown described Mr Mahony as “an incredible conversationalist” with a “great memory and a way of connecting with people”.
He added that Mr Mahony had a tremendous knowledge of his native area and could recall generations of people living in the locality.
Gardaí confirmed that a post mortem was expected to take place yesterday (Monday) and a file will be prepared for the coroner’s court.
Mr Mahony’s requiem Mass will be held in St Patrick’s Church, Newtown tomorrow (Wednesday) at 11am.