Postmortem finds publican was beaten to death

MURDER squad detectives have been called in to investigate the death of publican Matt Farrell after a postmortem confirmed he lost his life as a direct result of a series of blows across his head during a late-night attack at his home.

Mr Farrell, who owned The Gaelic Bar in the village of Daingean, Co Offaly, was found by his son tied up on the floor of the family home attached to the pub shortly before 7.30am on Wednesday.

In the immediate aftermath of his body being found, it had been feared that Mr Farrell may have suffered a heart attack during or after the time he was attacked by burglars at his home.

However, investigating gardaí have since indicated that a postmortem on the 64-year-old publican has confirmed that he died as a direct result of head injuries during the onslaught.

It is believed that the publican died after being hit repeatedly with a large heavy object by his attackers, who had tied his hands behind his back during the robbery.

Murder squad detectives, who are among 100 officers investigating the robbery and killing, appealed for anyone with information to contact officers in Tullamore.

Mr Farrell lived with his son, also called Matthew.

The young man, who is in his early 20s, slept upstairs as the attack and robbery took place in a room below. He was treated for shock after finding his father dead.

The last person to see him alive was a barmaid as he locked up for the night.

It is believed the pub may have been targeted by robbers in the last couple of years.

While gardaí would not confirm if thieves escaped with any money, Garda spokesman Superintendent John Gilligan said officers will be carrying out a review of all “serious incidents that have happened this year”.

“When an investigation like this takes place we examine other cases that may have happened in the area in the last year whether in the county or adjoining counties,” he said.

He said about 100 officers were involved in the investigation and the Garda Commissioner Fachtna Murphy had been in direct contact with investigators.

“We have, in relation to every aspect of this investigation, from technical to air support and the division search team, over 100 people involved.

“We immediately have to adopt an approach that every possible resource is given to this investigation,” said Supt Gilligan.


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