The dead man, named locally as Alan Lee, aged 70, was found at his home at Knockgorm, Cloyne, shortly before midday yesterday.
It is believed Mr Lee, who was said to be somewhat of a recluse, was discovered by people who were working in his property.
Gardaí sealed off his cottage which lies 2km north of Cloyne on the side of the main Cork/Midleton road. Forensic experts then carried out a detailed examination of the property.
Mr Lee was unmarried and lived alone. It is understood he had been unemployed since losing his job with Youghal Carpets when the factory closed in nearby Carrigtwohill in 2002.
On the pathway leading to his house yesterday stood his 98-C Honda 90 motorcycle which had a Cork flag attached to its rear.
Assistant state pathologist Dr Margot Bolster arrived at the scene at around 2.45pm where she was met by Supt John Quilter, who is leading the Garda investigation, and Det Insp Brian Goulding, the most senior detective in the East Cork Region.
A little over 10 minutes later, gardaí were overheard ordering a hearse to take Mr Lee’s remains away. In the meantime, a local priest arrived and prayed over the dead man’s body.
Dr Bolster examined the scene for nearly 40 minutes before leaving and senior gardaí left shortly afterwards.
At about 4pm a hearse arrived and Mr Lee’s body was taken to Cork University Hospital where Dr Bolster will carry out an autopsy this morning.
Supt Quilter confirmed that the dead man was 70 years old but said gardaí wouldn’t be officially releasing his name until all his relatives had been contacted.
He said gardaí were “keeping an open mind” on the cause of the pensioner’s death until they could determine more from the results of the autopsy.
However, he added gardaí at Midleton Garda station would like to hear from anybody who may have seen or heard anything unusual in the area between midnight on Wednesday and midday yesterday.
One local, who did not want to be named, said Mr Lee was “a person who kept himself to himself, a bit of a recluse, if you like”.
Michael Hegarty, the local county councillor (FG), was shocked by news of the pensioner’s death. “This is a quiet area and it has shocked everybody. Our sympathies must go to Mr Lee’s family and we all hope the Garda will solve what happened to him as quickly as possible,” he said.