Murder inquiry begins following death of man at Co Cork sheltered accommodation

Michael Foley (61) was discovered with serious head injuries in his chalet in Macroom

Gardaí have opened a murder investigation after a postmortem examination on the body of a 61-year-old man found in his home in Co Cork revealed that he had died a violent death.

Gardaí have not released the results of the postmortem on the body Michael Foley for operational reason, but it is understood that it found he died from blunt force trauma to the head as a result of a serious assault.

The examination was carried out by the Assistant State Pathologist, Dr Margot Bolster , at Cork University Hospital.

Investigators believe that a weapon was used to assault Mr Foley.


He was found with serious head injuries in the kitchen area of his chalet accommodation at Annville Sheltered Housing Complex at Barrett’s Place just off Main Street in Macroom.

Mr Foley, who lived alone, was found around 1pm on Tuesday when a care worker called to check on him after neighbours had reported that he had not been seen for a number of days.

Gardaí have carried out door to door inquiries at the Annville complex to try and establish when Mr Foley was last seen alive.

They are are harvesting CCTV footage from around the town to try and confirm any reports of sightings.

They are also planning to speak to Mr Foley’s friends and associates to try and establish when they last saw him alive and if any of them might have some information about who might have assaulted him. Gardaí have begun examining his mobile phone to see when he was last in contact with others and they plan to take witness statements from those he spoke to before he died.

Gardaí could find no sign of forced entry at the four roomed chalet and no evidence of anything missing from the property, leading them to discount robbery as a motive for any assault.

Mr Foley’s younger brother, Timmy (44) was stabbed to death at his home in nearby Barrett’s Place in Macroom in 2019. Timmy Foley’s ex-wife, Rita O’Driscoll from Bandon was later convicted and jailed for life for his murder following a trial at the Central Criminal Court which heard the deceased had been stabbed 28 times.

Visiting Mr Foley’s home to lay flowers, his sisters Ann and Mary spoke of their shock at the loss of their brother and how the latest tragedy is impacting on the entire Foley family.

“We hearing Michael has injuries to his body and face – it’s just all too hard to take in at once to be honest with you – we had tragedy in this town before with our brother, Timmy,” said Mary.

“I just can’t come to terms with it to be honest – Michael has four daughters, some of them in Dublin and it was just devastating to break the news to them because they are on the phone crying.

“His oldest daughter, Caroline used to come down here to visit with Michael’s grandchild and she was just hysterical on the phone when she heard.

“We are just going to have to take each day as it comes – grief is something you never get over – we’re still in grief from our brother, Timmy – it’s like a living disability, you’ll never get over grief.

“Some people cope in all different ways but all we can do is stick together and support one another, that’s all we’ve been doing and we’re still not over our brother Timmy’s death.

“For this now, to come around a second time, it’s just devastating,” said Mary who had travelled from her home in Newry in Co Down to visit her elderly father in Clonakilty when she heard the news.

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Barry Roche

Barry Roche

Barry Roche is Southern Correspondent of The Irish Times