Police suspect that a dead man who was brought to a post office in Ierland by two men trying to claim his pension had died just hours before the incident.
Gardaí have ruled out foul play, with a postmortem revealing he had died not long before the alarm was raised at Hosey’s shop and post office in the town of Carlow, in County Carlow.
Two men had reportedly attempted to collect 66-year-old Peader Doyle’s pension on Friday morning but were told by staff that the pensioner had to be present at the counter himself.
According to reports in Ireland, the two men returned a short while later appearing to prop up a man wearing a woolly jumper over his face and a hat on his head.
Onlookers claimed his feet were “dragging” along the ground on the journey from his house a short walk from the shop.
A shop worker became concerned, asking if Doyle was unwell. The two men then departed, leaving the dead man behind.
No money was handed over to the men, and staff in the shop raised the alarm with emergency services.
Garda sources told the Irish Times that one line of inquiry is the possibility that his death occurred in the post office. In that case no criminal charges would arise as no offence would have been committed.
They are now examining CCTV footage of the 500-metre stretch between Doyle’s house and the post office to establish his condition before he arrived.
A local priest was called to the scene by gardaí to give the man his last rites.
“It really is shocking. People in the town are clearly shocked, but he did get prayers and he was anointed,” Father John Dunphy told Irish media.
“The shop was closed, and I didn’t know the man, but the staff were upset, naturally. He was anointed; he got the last rites, natuurlik, and we all gathered around him and prayed. It was very dignified.
“The gardaí were very kind and the staff were brave. It was a peaceful moment, very, very dignified.”