Murder of pensioner Mulqueen back in the spotlight

The late James Mulqueen, 1917-2009

The late James Mulqueen, 1917-2009

  • by Norma Prendiville

GARDAI, investigating the death of County Limerick pensioner James Mulqueen more than four years ago, are now preparing a file to be sent to the Director of Public Prosecutions.

This has emerged following the arrest, last Thursday of a man in his 50s who was held for questioning at Henry St Garda Station under the provisions of Section 4 of the Criminal Justice Act. The man was released without charge on Friday.

Mr Mulqueen’s death, in October 2009, sent shock waves through the rural community in which he was born and lived out his later life. The body of 92-year-old bachelor was discovered at his small,rural cottage at Ballymakeery, Kilcolman at around 11am on October 23, 2009.

Initially, gardai believed his death was due to natural causes. However, the results of a post-mortem coupled with signs of disturbance in the cottage pointed to foul play and an intensive Garda investigation began, which included door-to-door calls and the amassing of some 1,400 separate pieces of evidence.

This included evidence that a sum of money was missing from the house.

Investigating Gardai believed that it was highly likely that Mr Mulqueen knew his attacker or attackers as there was no sign of forced entry.

A reconstruction of the events leading up to the pensioner’s death was broadcast on RTÉ’s Crimecall programme in September 2012 after the investigation was upgraded to a murder investigation following a case review by the Serious Crime Unit.

“He was a quiet man, independent-minded, who kept going while he could,” one neighbour said of Mr Mulqueen in the days following his death. And he described Mr Mulqueen as “a great man for his newspaper, the horses, his radio and television”. “He was quite content on his own,” another said, although he was known to enjoy a pint in Ned Lynch’s bar in Newcastle West. Others described him as a very nice, pleasant man, well up on all local events and a great supporter of all things local.

Mr Mulqueen, who never married, was born and grew up in the very house in which he died. He was one of a family of three and went to the national school in Kilcolman.

Afterwards, he worked for farmers in the locality before leaving to work in England where he stayed for about 20 years.Following the death of a brother, Mr Mulqueen returned to the home place and worked in construction in Newcastle West and then, until his retirement, with the Office of Public Works. He is survived by cousins.


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