Peter Ireton, the founder and former chief executive of the Limerick-based charity, Bóthar, was found dead in his home this morning, in what was described as a “personal tragedy”.
Mr Ireton would have turned 69 next week.
His body was discovered in the back garden of his home in Casteltroy, Limerick, around 8am this morning.
The body was taken to University Hospital Limerick where a post-mortem will be carried out later.
Gardai recovered a firearm at the scene, however they are not treating the death as suspicious.
A garda spokesman said: “Gardaí are investigating a sudden death incident following the discovery of a body (man in his 60s) on April 19, 2021 at a house in Castletroy, Limerick.”
Gardai did not comment further, however they are not seeking anyone in connection with Mr Ireton’s death.
A family friend described the news as “devastating”.
“It’s a tragedy, people who know him are absolutely devastated,” they added.
According to a report in the Irish Independent last week, Bóthar was conducting an internal investigation into financial transactions involving Mr Ireton.
The inquiry was looking into substantial payments allegedly received by Mr Ireton in the four years after he stepped down as CEO in 2011, the newspaper reported.
Mr Ireton denied any impropriety.
High Court proceedings
The existence of the internal investigations was disclosed in High Court proceedings last week, where the charity claimed Mr Ireton’s successor David Moloney had misappropriated €465,000.
Mr Ireton told the Irish Independent that he had not been contacted by Bóthar about its investigation.
“This was all news to me. I didn’t know anything about it,” he told the newspaper.
“I am amazed. But I do want to deal with the situation.”
Mr Ireton insisted he did not retire from Bóthar in 2011 and “continued working for the organisation until May 1, 2015”.
“I was on staff. That was done openly. Everybody on the board and everybody else that I am aware of was very familiar with that,” he told the Irish Independent.