A murder investigation has been launched after a man in his 80s, named locally as John Brogan, was found dead with multiple gunshot wounds after a house fire in Co Mayo on Sunday, March 5.

Gardaí in Castlebar, Co Mayo said on Monday, March 6 that they were continuing to investigate after a body was discovered in a domestic residence at Pheasanthill, Castlebar, Co Mayo shortly after 6:30 pm on Sunday, March 5 when they responded to reports of a fire.

The body of a male, in his 80s, remained at the scene pending a preliminary examination, Gardaí said on Monday morning. The scene has been visited by Dr. Margot Bolster, Assistant State Pathologist and the body will be removed for a post-mortem to be conducted later on Monday. The Garda Technical Bureau has this morning, commenced a technical examination of the scene.

One male in his 60s was arrested on suspicion of murder on Sunday and continues to be detained in Castlebar Garda Station under Section 4 of the Criminal Justice Act, 1984.

Gardaí in Castlebar appealed to any person who may have information in relation to this incident to contact them at Castlebar Garda Station on 094 903 8200, the Garda Confidential Line on 1800 666 111, or any Garda station.

Investigations are ongoing. An Garda Síochána said it had no further comment at this time.

RTÉ News reports that the victim was the subject of a Garda investigation after a number of abuse allegations were reported against him. 

The offenses were alleged to have taken place over the past 20 years, according to RTÉ. 

Brogan had not been convicted of any offenses at the time of his death, but the Director of Public Prosecutions had decided that he should be charged and brought before the courts. 

Locals said Brogan was a man who could regularly be seen cycling to and from the town of Castlebar, located several miles away from his home. 

Photos from the scene show the house ablaze as one man has been arrested on suspicion of murder https://t.co/M59jDcORYK

— Galway Beo (@GalwayBeoOnline) March 5, 2023

Local councilor Martin McLoughlin described Brogan's death as an "awful tragedy," adding that the local community is shocked and saddened by the "grim" events that unfolded on Sunday. 

Fine Gael Councillor Cyril Burke from the Mayo County Council told the Irish Independent the incident was “a massive shock” to the Castlebar community.

Speaking to Independent.ie, he said: “You don’t expect to hear this type of thing in a rural community.

“Particularly in that neighborhood, which is in the outskirts of Castlebar, it’s a quiet area, there is never really any trouble there.

“The community is in shock, people were very surprised by this news, really in total shock, because they wouldn’t have been expecting anything like this.”