The lonely death of an elderly man in the heart of Wexford Town has prompted Age Action to urge communities to be vigilant about the needs of their older neighbours.
The body of Alan Moore, a 62-year-old originally from Britain and once a resident in Macroom, Co Cork, lay undiscovered in his home for three months.
On Sunday, his decomposing body was found in his small terraced cottage when somebody noticed his Christmas tree lights were still on. Tests are still being carried out on the body.
“This sad incident must act as a wake-up call for every community,” said Age Action spokesman Eamon Timmins.
“With more than a quarter of older people in Ireland living alone, and loneliness being one of the greatest problems facing many older people, communities have to be vigilant, they have to make special efforts to involve older people in community activities and to remain in regular contact with them.”
The charity said the case challenged the perception that isolation was only an issue for people living in remote areas.
“Loneliness and isolation is also a problem for some older people living in the centre of towns and cities, with people streaming past their front doors each day,” said Mr Timmins.
Mr Moore was described as a man who kept to himself but was known to people who passed him when he used to relax outside the Friary across the street from his home.
The mayor of the town, David Hynes, told RTÉ that Mr Moore had been homeless some time ago but was living in his house in Wexford in recent years.
There has been difficulty tracking down Mr Moore’s relatives.
The alarm was raised by a person who passed his home on Lower John St and noticed a Christmas tree with the lights still on.
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