Ireland
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Sligo pensioner Tom Niland dies 18 months after violent incident at his home

Tom Niland, the bachelor sheep farmer who was on life support since a violent incident at his home 18 months ago, has died.

He passed away at Sligo University Hospital at 6.15 this morning. 

He had been on a ventilator in ICU, unable to walk or talk and paralysed from the neck down since the incident at his home in Skreen, west Sligo, on January 18, 2022.

“He went off very peacefully in the end,” said his cousin Michael Walsh, who had been maintaining a vigil by his bedside for the past two nights along with other family members.

“It’s strange. The struggle he had in the past while was immense. It was excruciating to see him when they changed the air tubes, his whole face would contort with the pain of the suction process,”

“It’s kind of a relief now but when the memories kick in, that’s when we’ll start grieving,” he told this newspaper.

A post-mortem examination is expected to take place on Monday.

 Gardai and local volunteers, search for the phone belonging to Tom Niland from Skreen, Co. Sligo, who was badly beaten in his home.
Gardai and local volunteers, search for the phone belonging to Tom Niland from Skreen, Co. Sligo, who was badly beaten in his home.

Three men are currently before the courts in relation to the violent incident at Tom Niland’s home.

Francis Harman, 55, of Nephin Court, Killala Road, Ballina, Co Mayo, John Clarke, 34, of Carrowkelly, Ballina, Co Mayo and John Irving, 29, of Shanwar, Foxford, Co Mayo, are all charged with aggravated burglary with a knife, assault causing serious harm and false imprisonment of Tom Niland at Doonflynn, Skreen on January 18 2022.

Harmon and Clarke both pleaded guilty to the charge of assault causing serious harm at a hearing in Dublin on 25 May and were remanded in custody on the other two charges to Dublin Circuit Criminal Court next week.

Irving is listed for a full trial on all three charges next Tuesday 3 October at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court also.

All three men have been in custody since their arrest on 9 March, 2022.