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Disabled man dies as blaze destroys bungalow

A wheelchair-bound man died and his sister was left in a critical condition after their home was destroyed by a fire yesterday.

Mattie Joe Gleeson (62) from Munnia, Killoscully, Co Tipperary lost his life after the blaze broke out at the bungalow early yesterday morning.

His sister, Mary Gleeson (64) was rushed to the Mid-Western Regional Hospital in Limerick and later transferred to Cork University Hospital where she remained last night. She is said to be in a critical condition -- it is believed she suffered serious burns.

The detached bungalow was completely gutted and members of Newport and Limerick Fire Service remained at the scene for several hours yesterday.

A technical examination was held in a bid to determine the cause of the fire, but it is understood gardai are not treating the incident as suspicious.

The house is located between Killoscully and Newport in north Tipperary.

Neighbours of the Gleesons were at the scene yesterday. One local man, who asked not to be identified, said everyone was in shock.

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"There is fierce sympathy here for the poor man. Mattie Joe and Mary would be well known by all. The poor fella was in a wheelchair and she would have looked after him. Mary was very good to her brother," he said.

"He would not have left the house too much at all, but everyone here would know the two of them," he added. The death has cast a shadow over the small community in Killoscully which had enjoyed a night of celebration when the Liam McCarthy Cup was brought to the parish.

"The cup was brought to Jimmy Ryan's pub on Saturday night and everyone was in great form so this has left a lot of gloom over the area.

"We can only hope that Mary recovers and all our prayers are with her and her late brother," the neighbour said.

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