Foul play ruled out in Cobh man’s death

Gardaí have ruled out foul play in the death of a housing campaigner in Cobh, Co Cork, whose body was found on Tuesday in the hallway of his apartment building.

Foul play ruled out in Cobh man’s death

Leo Owens, aged 48, was found dead at the foot of the stairs at the building where he lived at Harbour Hill.

Assistant State pathologist Margot Bolster examined the man’s remains at the scene on Tuesday night, and a full post mortem was carried out yesterday.

Gardaí have said that the death is not being treated as suspicious following the results of the post mortem.

The son of former Workers’ Party Cobh town councillor Leo Owens Snr, Mr Owens came to national attention when he featured in both the Irish Examiner and RTÉ’s Prime Time due to his ongoing battle against eviction from his home.

In October, the Irish Examiner reported how Mr Owens walked out of a Residential Tenancy Board hearing when it refused to hear his evidence of the conditions in which he lived.

He said his shower and toilet did not work and that he used four buckets to collect water from a leaking ceiling.

The landlord, who acquired the building in 2016, said he was served with a fire safety notice in November of that year and that he needed to vacate the property to conduct upgrade works which could take four to six months.

Despite this, Mr Owens had said he wanted to continue to live in the flat, and resisted attempts to evict him from his home.

“This is my home for the last 19 years,” he told this paper at the time.

“There is nowhere else to live around Cobh.

“I will be without a house, definitely, if the landlord forces me out.”

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