Arrest in pensioner's murder probe

James Mulqueen

A man has been arrested in connection with the death of a pensioner over three years ago.

The 54-year-old was arrested this morning in Newcastle West, Co Limerick, in connection with the murder of James Mulqueen (aged 91).

It was first thought Mr Mulqueen, from Kilcolman, Ardagh, Co Limerick, died of natural causes however officers later upgraded the probe to murder after a post mortem showed he died in suspicious circumstances.

An article in a Sunday newspaper has since claimed that a €5 note was found in Mr Mulqueen’s throat during the post-mortem and demonstrated a possible and personalised motive for the attack on him.

Mr Mulqueen was found dead in his two-bedroom cottage at 11am at Ballymakery, Kilcolman, Co Limerick on October 23, 2010.

Neighbours alerted gardai after he was not seen out, and his body was taken to the Mid-Western Regional Hospital where a post mortem was carried out by the Deputy State Pathologist, Michael Curtis.

The results of the post mortem were not released for operational reasons.

Gardaí said there was no sign of forced entry to the cottage.

Friends of Mr Mulqueen's have spoken fondly of a private man who loved all sports, particularly horse racing, and who enjoyed a pint.

He regularly travelled into Newcastle West to go shopping, and meet friends in Ed Lynch's pub on the town square.

Born in the two-bedroom cottage in 1917, he moved to England after World War II where he worked in construction and in the Office of Public Works.

Mr Mulqueen returned home in 1971 after the death of his brother Tom, moving back into the family home at Kilcolman.

A bachelor, he is survived by a number of cousins.

The suspect is been held at Henry Street Garda station under the direction of Superintendent a Helen Deeley, Newcastle West.

"We have arrested a man in connection with a serious investigation. The person has been brought to Henry Street in the city because all the resources to deal with a murder probe are readily available there," said a Garda source.

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