Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 16 April 2014

Tributes paid to attacked Cavan man

Garda are investigating the death of pensioner Johnny Golden

A pensioner who died after a brutal attack in his home has been described as a gentle-natured man.

Johnny Golden, 73, was found half naked on the bedroom floor of his cottage near Killeshandra, Co Cavan, by a neighbour on September 7 after being savagely beaten. The well-known bachelor never fully regained consciousness after the attack and died in hospital on Wednesday evening.

Sue Kilbracken, widow of Lord Kilbracken, knew Mr Golden for 40 years after he worked on the Godley's ancestral home Killegar House when it was almost destroyed by fire in 1970.

"He was a very popular local character, extremely well liked by everyone. Lord Kilbracken was particularly fond of him and he was very proud of his association with Lord Kilbracken," she said.

A funeral service is to take place on Sunday at the Church of Ireland in Killegar, where Mr Golden served as sexton for several years.

A 17-year-old youth was arrested and released without charge last month over the attack and it is understood a number of other young men have been interviewed by detectives.

The pensioner had suffered heart trouble 18 months ago and his neighbours initially feared he had collapsed a second time. However, medics feared he had suffered massive brain trauma and internal injuries in the attack.

Seamus and Lily Galligan, who were effectively nominated next of kin after he was taken into hospital, discovered their friend and were finalising plans for the funeral. Hundreds of mourners are expected to attend.

Mr Golden, who had no known relatives, was a well-known mechanic, a vintage tractor enthusiast, a noted musician and renowned for travelling the area on his Honda 70.

The Galligans were hoping to have a guard of honour outside the church made up of vintage tractors. It is also hoped a traditional music group will be able to play after the service.

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