‘Thomas never did any harm to anyone’

Family and friends of Thomas ‘Toddy’ Dooley, found dead at his Co Offaly home at the weekend, have described him as an “inoffensive” man who “wouldn’t hurt anybody”.

‘Thomas never did any harm to anyone’

Meanwhile, detectives in Tallaght, west Dublin, are continuing to interview a man in relation to the murder of a 31-year-old mother.

Sonia Blount was found strangled in a hotel room in Tallaght, near where she lived with her three-year-old son.

Mr Dooley, a 64-year-old father of three adult children, was beaten around the head, upper body, and legs. Gardaí are treating his death as murder, and are investigating reports that he had been robbed and beaten in the past.

Gardaí are trying to trace movement into and out from his home since last Thursday. They are checking with friends and locals who socialised with him in Edenderry.

Last night, gardaí said they were investigating Mr Dooley’s death as murder.

State Pathologist Dr Marie Cassidy carried out an autopsy at the Midland Regional Hospital, Tullamore, last night.

Mr Dooley lived in a quiet elderly-accommodation area in Edenderry. Residents often saw visitors calling to his home to socialise on a regular basis.

He was last seen on Thursday, and gardaí have issued an appeal to anyone who saw him near his home in Sister Senan Court or in the town after that. The alarm was raised after neighbours had failed to see him over the weekend and looked in his front window.

When gardaí entered, they found Mr Dooley’s body in a chair. He had suffered serious trauma to his head and upper body. He had also been beaten on his legs.

It is understood his sisters told gardaí he had previously been robbed and beaten, although the crime may not have been reported at the time.

“Thomas never did any harm to anyone,” said his sister Kathleen Darby.

“He minded me mother for years. Any help ye needed, he’d give it.”

Sister Rose Murphy said: “We’re shocked and he didn’t deserve to die like that. He didn’t deserve it, no way did he. Anytime you’d go down you’d see Toddy, as we called him, standing outside The Long Bar, holding the door up as we used to say. He always went into The Long Bar and have his few drinks with his friends and come home.”

Neighbour Johnny Farrell said: “I knew Toddy as a neighbour and a friend and he couldn’t harm anyone. It’s downright disgraceful.”

Meanwhile, in Tallaght, Ms Blount was found strangled on the floor of a hotel bedroom. Plastic ties and duct tape were also found in the room.

She was fully clothed when discovered by cleaning staff on Sunday afternoon. It is thought her son had celebrated his third birthday on Saturday.

Later on Sunday night, a man in his late 20s or early 30s handed himself into Store Street Garda Station in the north inner city and was later brought to Tallaght. Detectives have until this morning to charge or release him.

Elsewhere, a man has been charged in connection with the death of Alexander Karpov, aged 26, in Portarlington, Co Laois, on Saturday.

Deivydas Zigelis, aged 36, was charged at Tullamore District Court with the murder of the Latvian man.

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