A MAN in his 60s has been arrested in connection with the investigation into a suspected aggravated burglary which led to the death of farmer Tom Niland last year.
Tom Niland, 75, was taken to hospital last year after suffering serious head and upper body injuries in a suspected break-in at his home in Skreen, Co Sligo.
The popular farmer was living alone in the house when the break-in happened on Tuesday, January 18, 2022.
Mr Niland was treated for his injuries at Sligo University Hospital but sadly passed away at his own home in September – 18 months after the incident.
In the weeks following the burglary, gardai arrested three men in connection with the investigation, all three of whom remain in court.
However, An Garda Siochana arrested a fourth man on Thursday in connection with their investigation into the aggravated burglary.
The fourth man is in his 60s and was taken to a garda station in Sligo to be questioned about the break-in.
A spokesman for An Garda Siochana said: “Gardaí today arrested a man aged over 60 years in connection with a serious burglary at a residential property in Skreen, Co Sligo on January 18, 2022.”
“The man is currently being held at a Garda station in County Sligo under Section 4 of the Criminal Justice Act 1984.
“Three other men have been charged in connection with this incident and have appeared in court.
“The investigation is ongoing and no further information is available at this time.”
Hundreds of people attended Tom Niland’s funeral at St Adamnan’s Church in Sligo earlier this year.
Tom’s cousin Michael Walsh visited him every day in Sligo Hospital during his fight for life.
He said: “The struggle he has had over the last two years has been immense.
“Merciful, gentle and kind man”
“It was excruciating to watch him as they changed the air tubes, his face contorted with the pain of the suction.”
At the funeral, Father Michael Gilroy described Tom as a “gracious, gentle and kind man.”
He said: “Certain gestures can leave an indelible mark on our hearts.
“As Tom’s body was reverently removed from Sligo University Hospital by undertaker Seán Sweeney, hospital staff lined the path to the street in a moving and poignant guard of honour.
“Through their outstanding care and concern for Tom, and despite the obstacles to normal communication due to Tom’s medical condition, they have developed a close bond with Tom.
“And as the days turned into weeks and the weeks turned into months, they discovered the humble, gracious, gentle and kind man we all love and respect.”