LISDOONVARNA is reeling following the discovery of a man’s body in “unexplained circumstances” on Friday morning.

John O’Neill (79) was found dead at his house in the heart of Lisdoonvarna on Friday morning prompting a Garda investigation which so far has resulted in the arrest of one man aged in his thirties, he is currently detained at Ennis Garda Station.

Gardaí were alerted to the incident at around 8am on Friday morning by a phone call and are not looking for anyone else at this stage in relation to the incident. It is understood the male arrested was known to Mr O’Neill, senior Garda sources have said the suspect was a regular visitor of the victim’s.

State Pathologist, Margaret Bolster attended the preserved scene on Friday afternoon with a technical examination completed by the Garda Technical Bureau. A post-mortem at University Hospital Limerick will “direct the course of the investigation,” a Garda spokesperson outlined.

Since 1973, John ran O’Neill’s Town House with his wife Chris, the local B&B was built by his great great grandfather. John was viewed as a very active figure in promoting tourism in Lisdoonvarna.

His wife Chris died in July of last year following an illness, she was the founder of the Burren Painting Centre. A native of Gossport in the UK, Chris was a former Chairperson of Lisdoonvarna Fáilte and was regarded as “a powerhouse” in the area.

They had two children together, Seán and Graham who are well-known through their involvement with St Breckan’s GAA club. John and Chris also had five grand-children.

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