Gardai are probing the possibility that there may be links between this week’s murder of an Offaly publican and a similar incident which occurred last month in Mullingar.
A formal murder investigation was launched yesterday into the death of Matt Farrell at the Gaelic Bar in Daingean, after a postmortem revealed that he died as a result of head injuries. The 64-year-old was reportedly found tied to a chair in what was thought to be a botched robbery attempt.
The incident bears a remarkable resemblance to a raid on Gunning’s pub at Rathconrath, Mullingar on Tuesday March 10.
In the early hours of the Tuesday, two men, wearing balaclavas and armed with a handgun and a baseball bat, tied up the owner and two customers at Gunning’s Pub before making their getaway with a sum of cash.
A number of similar incidents took place during the same week in the wider Mullingar area, including an attempted robbery at a filling station.
Gardai are now reviewing these and other cases to establish whether there are any links.
Sergeant Kieran Williams of Mullingar Garda Station confirmed that investigations are continuing into the spate of raids in the Mullingar area, but that there have been few developments as yet.
However, they are following a definite line of enquiry on the Castlepollard incident, during which two raiders, one carrying a handgun, entered the premises and threatened staff.
A spokesperson from the Garda Press Office declined to comment yesterday on whether any concrete links had yet been established between this week’s incident in Daingean and the other similar incidents.
Anyone with information on any of the incidents is asked to contact Mullingar Garda Station at (044 ) 9384000, or regarding the Daingean investigation Tullamore Garda station on (057 ) 9327078.