Family appeal for case to be re-opened

The family of a north Longford man have launched a direct appeal to Minister for Justice Alan Shatter in a bid to re-open an investigation into their father’s death two and a half years ago.

The family of a north Longford man have launched a direct appeal to Minister for Justice Alan Shatter in a bid to re-open an investigation into their father’s death two and a half years ago.

Sixty-six year-old Peter Conroy was discovered by a neighbour on December 28 2009 in the kitchen area of his home in Granard lying face down on the floor.

Investigations carried out by gardai at the time revealed no evidence of foul play and no charges were ever brought in connection with the Ballynacargy native’s death.

However, at his inquest in May, it emerged that Mr Conroy had sustained multiple bruises to both his upper and lower body, a discovery which left Deputy State Pathologist Dr Khalid Jabber baffled.

Dr Jabber said he was unable to explain how Mr Conroy might have received the injuries, especially as toxicology results showed the pensionerhad no alcohol in his system at the time.

“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.”

Two months on, two of Mr Conroy’s daughters Sandra and Aisling, spoke exclusively to the Leader about their concerns and for their father’s casefile to be re-examined.

Pointing out how her father had spent Christmas with another of his daughters, Tara, an emotional Sandra told of how the family are still searching for answers two and a half years later.

“Apart from a tingling foot and bad cough, he was in reasonable health. That’s what we can’t understand” said Sandra. “We were told that he had a terrible gash to the back of his head and that there was a lot of blood, but we just thought he had fallen.”

Ms Conroy’s sister, Aisling also revealed her father spoke openly about how he had been the victim of anti-social behaviour in the past, leading to his decision to move home.

“He had to move from Colmcille’s Terrace to Farrell’s Terrace as windows were always being broken. Even the panels of the door was kicked in,” she said.

Both during the inquest and in the weeks since, the family have held talks with senior gardai in a last ditch attempt to re-open their father’s case.

Members of the family likewise held a meeting with Longford Westmeath TD James Bannon on Monday evening.

It’s a move which all four of Mr Conroy’s daughters hope will force government leaders into a re-think on the issue.

“He didn’t die of a heart attack,” added Sandra.

“If he was drunk and stumbled, we would say fair enough but he didn’t. We just want to know what happened him. We want the case re-opened. We want closure.”