Belfast Telegraph

Pensioner is questioned over assault on man (64) who later died in hospital

A pensioner in the Republic allegedly assaulted a man who later died after accusing the deceased of being involved in a relationship with his ex-wife. (stock photo)
A pensioner in the Republic allegedly assaulted a man who later died after accusing the deceased of being involved in a relationship with his ex-wife. (stock photo)

By Robin Schiller

A pensioner in the Republic allegedly assaulted a man who later died after accusing the deceased of being involved in a relationship with his ex-wife.

Gardai in Galway arrested a man in his 70s following the alleged incident in Connemara over the weekend.

The man has since been released without charge, and a post-mortem examination confirmed the man had a heart condition, which contributed to his death.

The deceased, who was named locally as Charles Townsend (64), died after an alleged assault at a house in the Ballinahown area on Sunday morning.

The respected osteopath was in the residential property with the female homeowner, when the woman's ex-partner returned to the house.

A row ensued and Mr Townsend, who is originally from the Ballisodare area of Sligo, was allegedly assaulted, before taking ill.

Emergency services were alerted and he was rushed to University Hospital Galway, but was pronounced dead a short time later.

The other man was later arrested by gardai.

He was held at Galway Garda Station under Section 4 of the Criminal Justice Act.

Last night, gardai said the man had been released without charge from custody and a file would now be prepared for the Director of Public Prosecutions.

"He was a highly respected osteopath whose work was known around the country, so whether the claim of being in a relationship with the woman is accurate has to be definitively established," a source said.

"The investigation will not be upgraded to murder, as the deceased had a heart condition and this was confirmed by the post-mortem," the source continued.

Gardai have said they are now following a definite line of inquiry as part of the investigation.

The female occupant of the house, understood to be of Asian descent, has also spoken to investigators.

The post-mortem examination into Mr Townsend's death was concluded yesterday afternoon.

"Investigations are ongoing," a spokeswoman said.

Gardai previously said they were investigating all of the circumstances surrounding the death of a man in his 60s following an incident at a house in Connemara, Co Galway.

"Gardai were called to a house in Ballinahown, Connemara where ambulance service personnel were treating a man in 60s following an alleged assault," a statement said.

"The man was removed from the scene by ambulance to University Hospital Galway, where he later passed away," gardai added.

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