THE BODIES of an elderly English couple may have lain undiscovered in their bungalow in Co Tipperary for more than 18 months, investigators have said.
The couple, who have been named locally as Nicholas South (82) and his wife Hillary (79) may have died in either November or December 2020 at their home 4km away from Cloneen village near Fethard.
Chief State Pathologist Dr Linda Mulligan carried out postmortems on the bodies at University Hospital Waterford for more than nine hours on Tuesday, but the Irish Times reports that the initial results were inconclusive, and further toxicology tests will be necessary.
The bodies of the couple, who worked on cruise liners in Australia for many years, were discovered on Monday afternoon when gardaí carried out a welfare check on the couple after neighbours became concerned.
The body of Mr Smith was found in a bedroom, while the body of Mrs Smith was found in the living room.
Investigators believe from examination of milk cartons and other perishable items that the couple died towards the end of 2020.
Local people say the couple did not socialise locally, and that they had spoken about moving to France in November 2020.
They also paid a man in advance to continue cutting their grass, leading people to believe they had left the area.
Gardaí are keeping an open mind on the deaths of the couple, and while the house has been declared a crime scene, they have stressed the results of the postmortem will determine the course of the investigation.
There was no signs of forced entry to the house, and gardaí are currently trying to establish whether they had any next of kin in Australia or the UK.