Billy O’Driscoll, 74, from St Patrick’s Quay in Bandon, was pottering about in his back garden, flanking the steps leading to the town’s St Patrick’s Church, when a wall above the level of his property collapsed, crushing him underneath.
A construction project is under way nearby and it is understood that a truck had delivered building material close to the wall just moments before it collapsed.
Gardaí in Bandon were last night trying to establish the circumstances leading to the accident.
Interviews with some of the construction workers will be crucial. The Health and Safety Authority confirmed it is also investigating the incident because it involved matters linked to the construction site.
The alarm was raised at around 4pm and gardaí, two units of the fire service and an ambulance rushed to the scene. It is understood emergency services personnel had to dig through substantial quantities of rubble to get to Mr O’Driscoll.
But he had suffered devastating injuries and was pronounced dead at the scene.
His remains were removed to Cork University Hospital where a postmortem will take place.
Gardaí sealed off the area and conducted a full forensic examination.
Mr O’Driscoll, a retired carpenter, is survived by his wife Nell, sons Denis, Martin and Brendan, and daughter Martina.
His brother, Barry, died in 1990, aged 43. The fisheries protection officer drowned with three colleagues when their boat sank off Ballycotton.