A kind, gentle old man who never troubled anyone and kept himself to himself was a “nailed on certainty to get murdered” say his neighbours.

Francis Mulraney was found dead at his home at the end of his street in Newcastle. Police say he’d disturbed burglars and rang 999. The intruders panicked and knocked him down as they made their escape.Murder victim who kept himself to himself was ‘asking for trouble’ say neighbours

Neighbours said they weren’t all that surprised that he’d been attacked. The woman who lived next door to him was too upset to speak at first but soon perked up when reporters arrived with TV cameras.

“He was a lovely person, really popular with everyone, so obviously we knew he was always a prime candidate to be murdered. To make matters worse, he always kept himself to himself and would do anything for anybody… that’s just asking to be attacked isn’t it?

“I mean, look at me, I’m a right gobby bugger who’s never helped anyone and no one’s ever bothered me.”

“Same with me,” said another neighbour. “I’m always meddling in other people’s business and poking my nose in where it’s not wanted… no one’s ever bother me either.”

Meanwhile, local people have been laying floral tributes to the man they hardly knew…such was his skill at keeping himself to himself. One tribute read simply: “To Francis, too good for this cruel world. Why couldn’t you have been a gobshite like me?”

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