Gardaí and forensics remain at the scene of a house outside Castlebar this lunchtime where a man was found dead with gunshot wounds, following a fire at his home yesterday evening.

Assistant State Pathologist Dr Margot Bolster arrived at the house located along the N5 at Cloonkeen, Castlebar just after 11.30 am this morning.

While a man is continuing to be detained at Castlebar Garda Station on suspicion of murder.

The State Pathologist arrived in the rain at the house on the N5 between Castlebar and Westport, at approx 20 to 12 this morning.

The man’s body was discovered by the emergency services as they dealt with a house fire yesterday evening, after they had been alerted to the blaze at about 6.30pm yesterday evening.

Gardai have mounted a murder investigation following the death of the man whose name has not yet been formally released ,however, has been named locally as John Brogan, a retired farmer, aged 83.

He lived alone in a cottage at Pheasant Hill, Cloonkeen, Castlebar.

He had been shot a number of times.

His body remains at the damaged house as the pathologist carries out her preliminary examination this lunchtime. His remains will be removed for a post mortem examination to Mayo University Hospital this afternoon.

The house and the surrounding area have been sealed off as officers from the Garda Technical Bureau are conducting a forensic examination of the scene.

A man in his sixties was arrested yesterday evening in connection with the incident  and he is being held for questioning at Castlebar Garda Station under Section 4 of the Criminal Justice Act.

Gardaí have  issued an appeal to anyone with information to contact them at Castlebar Garda Station on 094 9038200, on the Garda Confidential Line on 1800 666 111 or at any garda station

The deceased was a well known farmer whose family lived at Pheasant Hill, near Castlebar, for generations.

According to locals, John was a familiar figure on his bicycle over the years cycling to and from Castlebar.

As light faded yesterday evening, neighbours watched in horror and disbelief along the roadway as flames leapt from the front of the house. The blaze was quickly extinguished by the fire services.

Local councillor Martin McLoughlin, a member of Mayo County Council, told Midwest News today that the local community is shocked and saddened by the ‘grim’ events which unfolded yesterday. He described it as “an absolute tragedy”.


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