‘We want our father’s case re-opened’ say family

The family of a north Longford man have claimed they are still no nearer to learning what happened their father following his death two and a half years ago.

The family of a north Longford man have claimed they are still no nearer to learning what happened their father following his death two and a half years ago.

Peter Conroy, of 4 Farrell’s Terrace, Granard was discovered by a neighbour on December 28 2009 in the kitchen area lying face down on the floor.

Investigations into his death by gardai had uncovered no evidence of foul play or third party involvement, last week’s sitting of Longford Coroner’s court was told.

But it was only when Deputy State Pathologist Dr Khalid Jabber took the stand that questions were raised by members of the Conroy family.

Dr Jabber said upon conducting a post mortem of Mr Conroy’s body, he found two “v-sign” lacerations to the back of Mr Conroy’s head that were consistent with a blunt force trauma injury.

He also revealed Mr Conroy had sustained multiple bruises to both his upper and lower body.

Dr Jabber said he was unable to explain how Mr Conroy might have received the injuries, especially as toxicology results showed the 66-year-old, who had a drink problem, had no alcohol in his system at the time.

Pointing out Mr Conroy’s body lay close to an ash-filled bucket, Dr Jabber said: “I have seen cases of alcoholism. These cases would normally equate to where an alcoholic had a very high blood level on him.

“In this case I don’t have supportive evidence to explain to me why he (Mr Conroy) sustained the cuts on the back of his head and caused his bleeding. (This) is because he doesn’t have acute alcoholism on him.

“For me, it is a concern why he sustained an injury.”

Mr Conroy had spent Christmas Day with his daughter Tara and had been complaining of a pain in his foot.

On St Stephen’s Day, he returned to his home in Farrell’s Terrace, but it wasn’t until almost two days later that he was found by his neighbour, Robert Reilly. He said Mr Conroy had spoken to him of his anxiety about recent incidents that led to eggs being thrown at his house and the theft of some alcohol.

As Coroner, Dr Niall Donohoe began his summation, one of Mr Conroy’s daughter’s, Sandra, asked gardai to re-open the case.

“We believe that somebody hit him, somebody knows something,” she said. “The front door was open. He always liked to keep the front doors closed because he was afraid of people coming in. He was terrorised.” Ms Conroy said her family were well aware of their father’s drink-related problems, but that, she said did not explain what happened him.

“We want it further investigated. It has been going around in my head for the last two and a half years and we still don’t know what happened,” she added.

Inspector Declan Rock replied by saying gardai undertook a pain-staking investigation which showed there was nothing untoward about Mr Conroy’s death.“We have no evidence to suggest there was anyone else in the house,” he said.

As the court recorded an “open” verdict, condolences were expressed to the Conroy family by Dr Donohoe, the jury and investigating gardai.