Stranger than fiction

Two men take dead body into post office to claim his pension

Police in Ireland expected to make arrests following investigation into ‘outlandish’ events

Residents of Carlow in southeast Ireland were left in disbelief after two men allegedly carried a dead body into the local post office to claim the deceased’s pension money.

“The outlandish series of events” began at around 11.30am on 21 January, said The Guardian. According to The Irish Times, a man went into Hosey’s post office in Carlow that morning to collect a pension payment for an elderly gentleman, and was told by staff that the pensioner would need to be present to collect the funds. 

The man left before returning with two other men, “one of whom was in his 60s and appeared to be being supported by the two others”, said The Guardian. The man in his 60s has been identified as retired painter Peader Doyle, who lived roughly 500 metres from the post office.  

A woman who lives next to the post office told the Irish Independent that her daughter saw the three men approach the post office and thought that Doyle “looked unwell as his feet were dragging on the ground”.

On entering the post office, the younger men reportedly asked again for the pension payment. The Irish Times understood that a member of staff “enquired about the wellbeing of the man being propped up” by the other two men, who were reported to be in their 30s.

The pair apparently “suggested the deceased was having a heart attack”, said the Irish Independent, before they fled, “dropping the body at the scene”, said the BBC. An ambulance was called and Doyle, 66, was declared dead at the scene.

Gardai have “unearthed evidence” that the deceased was alive earlier that day “rather than being dead for many hours, or even days”, said The Irish Times. However, it is not yet clear if Doyle was alive when he was taken from his home to the post office, as the two suspects have claimed.

It is understood that the pair “had wrapped a jumper around Mr Doyle’s face and a hat on his head in an attempt to disguise his real condition”, said The Telegraph. Foul play has been ruled out by a postmortem.

One of the men was well known to Doyle, the Irish Independent reported, and a source told the paper that the two men “have already given statements to gardai about the incident”. 

Arrests are expected to be made as a Gardai investigation focuses “on alleged attempted fraud, and failing to report a death”, said the paper. 

The Mayor of Carlow, Ken Murnane, said he was “absolutely shocked” by the events. “I cannot believe anyone would do something like that. It beggars belief, I’m just shocked. It’s like a Hitchcock movie.”

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