FF TD slams lack of Garda resources as popular carpenter is found dead after interrupting burglars at his home

FF TD slams lack of Garda resources as popular carpenter is found dead after interrupting burglars at his home

By David Raleigh in Toomaline, Co Limerick.

Tributes have been paid to a skilled carpenter who was found dead at his Co Limerick home today after he disturbed a gang of thieves ransacking his house.

John O'Donoghue, 62, collapsed and died of a suspected heart attack when he came upon a Traveller gang robbing his home near Toomaline, situated along the Doon to Cappawhite road.

Two men are in Garda custody tonight being questioned about the circumstances surrounding Mr O'Donoghue's death and on suspicion of committing a burglary at his home.

Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Justice slammed the government for leaving the community with little or no Garda resources.

Deputy Collins, who is a TD for the area, said he had received confidential information that the suspects were arrested by a steely garda who was forced to use his own personal transport because there was no patrol car available to him.

FF TD slams lack of Garda resources as popular carpenter is found dead after interrupting burglars at his home

"It shocking to learn that the people were apprehended by a Garda who had to use his own transport to apprehend the two suspects," he said.

"It points to an unacceptable under-resourcing of An Garda Síochána in the Bruff district," Deputy Collins added.

Locals said Mr O'Donoghue's sister Christine, found her sibling collapsed on the ground at the side of his converted cottage, which lies a few miles from the Tipperary.

The pair had just returned from Doon village where Mr O'Donoghue had purchased wood materials for a project he was working on.

Two members of the gang ran from the house on foot after their getaway driver sped away before they could reach the vehicle, a local source said.

The two suspects were arrested half a mile from the scene at Fearns Crossroads in Co Tipperary.

Gardaí later recovered a black Laguna near Boher, Co Limerick, which they believe was used as the getaway car.

It's understood the two men in custody are also being questioned in relation to another house burglary earlier in the day in Cappamore.

"They absolutely tore the place asunder. They ransacked his home. They are the lowest of the low, picking on a vulnerable man like John," they added.

"He had undergone a bypass in recent years. He lived alone. His sister would come and visit him and they would go shopping together," said a neighbour.

"He was a really nice man. The nicest man you could ever meet."

"He was an absolute genius with his hands. He could make anything for you," they added.

There are no suggestions that Mr Donoghue -- whose late father John Snr was a popular local postman -- had died violently.

The nearest Garda station in Doon was closed a few years ago and sold off by the State.

"The lack of policing in rural areas is allowing these gangs to freely roam," Deputy Collins said.

Gardaí at Bruff are investigating the circumstances surrounding Mr O'Donoghue's death.

More in this Section

LVA chides Dublin pubs on takeaway sales and outdoor drinkingLVA chides Dublin pubs on takeaway sales and outdoor drinking

Seahorses, snakes, and wildcat teeth seized by customsSeahorses, snakes, and wildcat teeth seized by customs

Top civil servant queried change to political pensions info ruleTop civil servant queried change to political pensions info rule

Man due in court after shots fired at gardaí in CorkMan due in court after shots fired at gardaí in Cork


Lifestyle

Liz O’Brien talks to Niall Breslin about his admiration for frontline staff, bereavement in lockdown, his new podcast, and why it's so important for us all just to slow down.Niall Breslin talks about losing his uncle to coronavirus

Podcasts are often seen as a male domain — see the joke, 'What do you call two white men talking? A podcast'.Podcast corner: Three new podcasts from Irish women that you should listen to

Esther McCarthy previews some of the Fleadh’s Irish and international offerings.How to attend the Galway Film Fleadh from the comfort of your own couch

Whether you’re on staycation or risking a trip away, Marjorie Brennan offers suggestions on novels for a wide variety of tastesThe best fiction books for the beach and beyond this summer

More From The Irish Examiner