Post mortems on bodies found in Limerick farmhouse

David Hurley

Reporter:

David Hurley

St Pathologist, Prof Marie Cassidy at the farmhouse at Boolaglass and (below) Julia Holmes and Thomas Ruttle [Picture Press 22]
GARDAI say efforts are continuing to identify the bodies of a man and a woman who were found dead at a house in County Limerick in the early hours of this morning.

GARDAI say efforts are continuing to identify the bodies of a man and a woman who were found dead at a house in County Limerick in the early hours of this morning.

The bodies, which were found in an upstairs bedroom of a rural farmhouse at Boolaglass - halfway between Rathkeale and Askeaton - are believed to be those of Julia Holmes (63) and her partner, Thomas Ruttle, who was aged in his 50s.

The bodies, which investigating gardai have confirmed had been in the house for some time, were badly decomposed when they were found at around 3am on Monday.

The scene of the grim discovery is being examined by members of the garda technical bureau and State Pathologist, Prof Marie Cassidy, this evening conducted post mortem examinations at University Hospital Limerick.

In a statement tonight, the Garda Press Office said there had been no positive identification of either of the deceased and efforts to identify them are ongoing.

“A post mortem examination has concluded on the bodies of the man and woman found this morning at Askeaton and no cause of death has been established as yet. Further testing is now required and this may take some days. The bodies have yet to be positively identified,” said a spokesperson.

The traditional farmhouse, which is located on the busy R518, is owned by Thomas Ruttle, who along with Ms Holmes has not been seen in the locality since the middle of March.

Ms Holmes - a convicted con woman - is wanted by the PSNI and the FBI.

The 63-year-old, who had more than 20 convictions, was deported from the United States in 2006 over a $500,000 property scam in Texas.

At various points, she also went by the names Julianne Ruttle, Croen Ruttle, Julia Watson as well as several other aliases.

It is understood Ms Holmes, who has been on the run from the authorities in Northern Ireland since 2011 had been living in the house with Mr Ruttle for a number of months.

Meanwhile, residents in the townland of Boolaglass have been speaking of their shock at what happened.

“I’m just in total shock really that something like this can happen next door to you. I would have known the owner of the house just by name and to see him but not on a personal basis,” said Elma Barry who lives near the farmhouse.

Local councillor, Emmett O’Brien added: “This comes as a real shock in the community. It’s a very tranquil part of Askeaton with a large number of respectable families and farms in the area.”

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