Post mortem carried out on body of homeless man found in Ennis

Picture: Eamon WardJosef Pavelka

A post mortem examination has taken place on the body of a homeless man found dead in Ennis over the weekend.

Josef Pavelka had been sleeping in a public toilet in the town in recent weeks and was found dead in a laneway on Saturday night.

His living conditions received national attention recently following his appearance before Ennis District Court relating to his drinking in public last month.

The plight of Mr Pavelka and his Polish friend, Piotr Baram, made headlines after Judge Patrick Durcan described the revelation that they were sleeping in public toilets as "a scandal" last month.

Judge Durcan said that Mr Pavelka had attained "celebrity status" in Ennis.

Gardaí are now awaiting toxicology reports to establish exactly how the 52-year-old Czech national died but say they are not treating his death as suspicious.

Inspector Tom Kennedy of Ennis Garda station said his death has caused widespread shock.

"The suddenness of his death has affected an awful lot of people in Ennis and beyond," Insp. Kennedy said.

"There was quite a deal of expression of sadness from many many sources, that he would have died so quickly and so suddenly.

Insp Kennedy yesterday told the Irish Examiner that one of the theories gardaí are working on is Mr Pavelka may have choked to death on food as he rummaged for discarded food in the laneway that lies adjacent to the Supermacs restaurant.

"Obviously, his overall health was poor due to his chronic addiction to alcohol," he said.

In the aftermath of Mr Pavelka’s court appearance at the District Court last month, the St Vincent de Paul with other agencies sourced emergency accommodation at a tourist hostel in Galway.

However Mr Pavelka and Mr Baram subsequently left the emergency accommodation to return to Ennis, where Mr Pavelka’s drinking is believed to have worsened.

Mr Baram, who was not with Mr Pavelka when he died, said he continues to live rough in Ennis.

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