Irishman who brought his dead uncle into a post office to collect his pension insists he was alive

A man who dragged his uncle’s corpse to a post office to collect his pension has insisted he ‘didn’t know he was dead’ and was ‘not an eejit’ who was trying to rob him.

Declan Haughney, 40, claimed he was not trying to rob Peadar Doyle, 66, after he and his friend Gareth Coakley propped the pensioner up.

They were on a five-minute walk between Mr Doyle’s home and Hosey’s post office in Carlow, Ireland, 50 miles south of Dublin, when the pensioner ‘went a bit slumpy’.

Former drug addict Mr Haughney admitted he previously stole from his aunt.

He said people in his hometown were alleging he had murdered his uncle and tried to rob him because ‘I [have] done it before’.

Declan Haughney, 40, said he was 'not an eejit' and claimed he was not trying to rob his uncle Peadar Doyle, 66. He was 'attacked' and left with a black eye after the strange incident. Mr Haughney said people thought he had robbed his uncle because he was previously jailed for stealing from his aunt

Declan Haughney, 40, said he was ‘not an eejit’ and claimed he was not trying to rob his uncle Peadar Doyle, 66. He was ‘attacked’ and left with a black eye after the strange incident. Mr Haughney said people thought he had robbed his uncle because he was previously jailed for stealing from his aunt

Pictured: Gardaí take the body of the man, named locally as Peadar Doyle, from Hosey's shop in County Carlow, Ireland after 'fraudsters' allegedly tried to claim his pension on Friday morning, putting a jumper over his face and a hat on his head

Pictured: Gardaí take the body of the man, named locally as Peadar Doyle, from Hosey’s shop in County Carlow, Ireland after ‘fraudsters’ allegedly tried to claim his pension on Friday morning, putting a jumper over his face and a hat on his head 

The men had told staff that the pensioner was having a heart attack when questioned about his wellbeing and placed the body on the ground. Pictured: Gardaí outside the shop in County Carlow yesterday

The men had told staff that the pensioner was having a heart attack when questioned about his wellbeing and placed the body on the ground. Pictured: Gardaí outside the shop in County Carlow yesterday

However, Mr Haughney protested his innocence and said he was ‘not an eejit’.

‘Am I cuckoo? Am I cuckoo? I’m not,’ he told the Irish Mirror.

He said: ‘Why would I want to rob my uncle? I’m 40 years of age yeah, I’m not a child, I’m not a young fella.

‘I’m not an eejit to walk into Hoseys with a dead man and collect his money.’

Mr Haughney said 15 years ago he stole his aunt’s bank card and pin when it came by post and served two years in jail for fraud.

However, he said he has been drug-free for three years and had nothing to do with his uncle’s death.

Declan Haughney (pictured) and Gareth Coakley dragged Mr Doyle to Hosey's post office in Carlow to claim the 66-year-old's pension

Gareth Coakley (pictured) helped his friend carry the corpse

Declan Haughney (left) and Gareth Coakley (right) dragged Mr Doyle to Hosey’s post office in Carlow to claim the 66-year-old’s pension

‘I’m off the gear three years and doing well,’ he added.

Mr Haughney said he accepted Mr Doyle might have already died before they reached the post office. 

He said: ‘We were grand then all of a sudden he started going all slumpy.’

The 40-year-old also claimed he was attacked and suffered a black eye following the incident at the post office last Friday. 

He and his friend Mr Coakley were called fraudsters after they carried Mr Doyle’s corpse to a post office in an alleged bid to claim his pension, in scenes reminiscent of the 1989 film Weekend At Bernie’s.

In the dark comedy movie, a pair of insurance salesmen lug around the body of their murdered boss – pretending he’s still alive – and lose and recover his corpse, which is clothed and wearing tinted glasses, several times.  

Irish police were investigating whether the elderly man may have been dead for up to two days when the grim incident took place.  

The ‘fraudsters’ had put a jumper over Mr Doyle’s face and a hat on his head. 

The fraudsters' actions had echoes of the 1989 film Weekend At Bernie's. In the dark comedy movie, a pair of insurance salesmen lug around the body of their murdered boss - pretending he's still alive - and lose and recover his corpse, which is clothed and wearing tinted glasses, several times. (Above, the film, starring Andrew McCarthy, right, and Jonathan Silverman

The fraudsters’ actions had echoes of the 1989 film Weekend At Bernie’s. In the dark comedy movie, a pair of insurance salesmen lug around the body of their murdered boss – pretending he’s still alive – and lose and recover his corpse, which is clothed and wearing tinted glasses, several times. (Above, the film, starring Andrew McCarthy, right, and Jonathan Silverman

Sound familiar? Weekend At Bernie’s

Weekend At Bernie’s is a dark US comedy released in 1989, starring Andrew McCarthy (‘Larry’) and Jonathan Silverman (‘Richard’) as low-level insurance salesmen.

While going over some records at the New York firm where they work, the pair unearth fraudulent paperwork – but are unaware that their boss, Bernie, is the perpetrator.

After they tell him, Bernie invites them to spend a weekend at his beach house in the Hamptons – unaware that he has ordered the Mob to kill them.

Before the pair arrive at the beach house, Bernie himself ends up getting ‘whacked’ as he’d been sleeping with the mobster’s girlfriend.

When Larry and Richard turn up, they find the corpse… just as guests start arriving for a party.

Fearing being implicated in Bernie’s death, and wanting to have a good time at the luxury house, they pretend he is still alive – putting sunglasses on him to hide his lifeless body.

Subsequent hi-jinks see them losing and recovering the corpse several times, including a scene where Bernie falls off a boat into water.

Both men had previously gone into the post office and tried to get the money but staff told them they needed Mr Doyle there himself or his next of kin there. 

Afterwards, it is alleged they went to Mr Doyle’s home and carried him along a public footpath before they again tried to claim his pension. 

His appearance led an employee at Hosey’s post office in County Carlow to become concerned about his wellbeing and she asked if he was unwell.

The men are said to have told her that Mr Doyle was having a heart attack and placed his body on the ground.

Gardaí and an ambulance were called as events yesterday unfolded and the men stayed at the post office, making no attempt to escape, according to the Sunday World. 

One woman said her daughter saw the two men carry a man into the post office.

Speaking to the Irish Independent, she said that the man looked unwell and that his feet were ‘dragging the ground.’ 

There was a queue outside of the post office at the time and people had initially thought the man was having a heart attack.

She said: ‘I feel awful for the staff. I’ve a 12-year-old daughter and I’m trying to explain to her what happened and sure where do you start? It’s awful.’ 

It is understood that the men told Gardaí Mr Doyle was alive when he was brought into the post office.

No arrests have been made so far but both men were interviewed by the Guards and have given statements.   

Gardaí are investigating if Mr Doyle died at a nearby property of natural causes. 

Residents and neighbours of Mr Doyle said they were sad and shocked after his death. 

He was described as a ‘lovely man and neighbour’ by one and another said it had been a ‘sad night’ and a ‘shock.’  

Mayor of Carlow, Ken Murnane, said:  ‘I was absolutely shocked to hear about what happened.

‘I cannot believe anyone would do something like that. It beggars belief, I’m just shocked.’ 

A Garda spokesperson said Gardaí are investigating all the circumstances surrounding the unexplained death of an elderly male in the Carlow area on Friday morning.

Officers think Mr Doyle may have passed away around three hours before his appearance at the post office.

No arrests have been made so far but both men have been interviewed by Gardai and given statements. Pictured: Gardai carry out investigations at the scene yesterday

No arrests have been made so far but both men have been interviewed by Gardai and given statements. Pictured: Gardai carry out investigations at the scene yesterday

source: dailymail.co.uk