The elderly English couple found dead in a house in Co Tipperary lived like ‘ghosts’ who kept themselves to themselves and rarely ventured out of the house, say locals.
The couple were believed to have been in their 70s and 80s and gardaí suspect they could have died up to at least a year ago, according to a report in the Irish Examiner.
They are understood to have bought the house just outside the village of Cloneen, near Clonmel, Co Tipperary, from a local man about 10 years ago.
The couple are thought to have told a local resident that they were planning to sell the house. Many people locally believed they had in fact sold the property and moved back to Britain.
A local resident said they had a “gut feeling” that something was wrong, and he and another resident decided to raise the alarm and ask gardaí to do a “welfare check” on the couple.
“The couple’s car was parked around the back, but there was absolutely no sign of life,” said a resident who asked not to be named.
“It was understood that they were going to move out and everybody thought they had moved out.
“But there was a guy who kept on about how he didn’t think everything added up.
“Why, he used to ask, was such a lovely house just lying idle if it had been sold and the couple had moved out?
“The fact that the car was still there led some of us to think the car was sold with the house.”
Another resident, who asked not to be named said: “I don’t know much about them and I have found very few people who do, or even met them and spoke to them.
Meanwhile, Tipperary councillor Mark Fitzgerald is calling for support for the local community in the wake of a tragedy where an elderly couple was found dead in their home.
Cllr Fitzgerald said the area was "shell shocked" by the news, adding that the issue had been compounded by comments on social media criticising the fact the couple had not been discovered sooner.
The "rush to conclusions" when "no one knows the full story" of the "very sad circumstances" was very hurtful for the community, he told Tipp FM.
Social media could be a "very nasty and negative platform" and people were very upset at the "rumours and idle talk".
It was very unfair to speculate about what had or had not happened, he added.
This was a small rural community unfamiliar with media scrutiny he said, and the residents were upset and shocked at what had happened. There was an ongoing garda investigation, Cllr Fitzgerald added.
Cllr Fitzgerald added there was on ongoing garda investigation into the matter, while "people are talking for the sake of talking" without knowing exactly what had happened.