Gardaí have described as “very sad” a bizarre incident in Carlow where two people dragged a recently deceased elderly man into a post office in an apparent attempt to collect his pension.
When post office staff contacted the gardaí, the two men left the scene, leaving the body behind.
The individuals are understood to be known to the victim, and gardaí are satisfied they know who they are.
A full garda investigation is underway and the services of both the State Pathologist and the Garda Technical Bureau have been sought.
As it stands, gardaí do not suspect any foul play in the elderly man's death and suspect he may have recently died from medical causes.
“It is a very interesting and very unusual case, but also a very sad one,” said a garda source. “To think someone wanted the pension so badly that they did this.
Gardaí will examine whether any criminal offence was carried out, centering on gathering evidence of attempted fraud.
The incident unfolded after a man entered the post office yesterday morning and said he wanted to collect a pension for a relative.
The post office staff explained that the person had to be present for that, and the man left. It is understood that he came back with another person and that they brought the body of the deceased man with them.
Sources said they propped him up against the counter, told the staff he was here and asked for the pension.
“Even if the man was old and frail, you could be talking 50kg," said a source, "that’s the equivalent of carrying four bags of coal".
Staff rang Carlow gardaí. The two men left and when gardaí arrived they found the body.
Gardaí said the first task was to establish “where, how and when” the man died.
This will involve an autopsy and an examination of the man’s house. A source said:
Gardaí said they know who they are dealing with, but need to establish if a crime has been committed before considering arrests.
Gardaí will also prepare a file for the coroner.