The tragic death of Waterford pensioner Paddy Barry was raised in the Dáil on Wednesday.

A post-mortem on the 82-year-old has found no injuries consistent with an attack, and it’s now believed the deceased may have fallen before ringing Gardai to report a burglary at his home.

Labour Party leader Eamon Gilmore said “everyone was shocked” by Mr Barry’s passing, less than a week after he lapsed into in a coma.

Sympathising with the Barry family, Mr Gilmore said: “Out of respect for them and because I understand a file is being sent to the Director of Public Prosecutions, I do not wish to focus on that individual case. However, it brings into focus the fear and apprehension experienced by many elderly people, particularly those who are living alone, in the face of the kind of anti-social behaviour such as groups of youths who are out of control and criminal activity. Many are afraid in their own homes and in their communities.

“This fear,” he said, “would have been added to during the week by reports that one in seven of the prison population is now out on temporary release, a total of 600 prisoners who have been sentenced to various terms of imprisonment and who are now out and about, largely because the Government has made a mess of the provision of prison places.”


See The Munster Express Weekender newspaper for full story.