The tall grass outside the bungalow on a remote rural road was the only clue from outside that he had not seen life for a long time.
The couple, who lived there 18 months ago, whose local names were Nick and Hilary Smith, told their neighbors in South Tipperary that they were leaving.
The British natives had moved there about nine years ago and had stayed with them from the very beginning.
The couple would give a polite wave when neighbors walked in, and some locals had learned from rare but polite casual conversations that the elderly man worked in shipping before retiring.
It is believed that they had no children – none that the neighbors knew anyway.
The house, next to which there was a sun room, was neat and separated from overgrown grass. And it was spacious too, a perfect home for a retired couple.
Behind the house, a field of grass has been cut and buried in large round spools still waiting to be raised and barn-stored on the ground, and the picturesque view of the valley and forest in the distance is pleasant. .
When the couple was last seen, Covid-19 was rampant, and because they had told locals they would move, there was a belief that the Smiths had moved back to the UK, possibly in the wider family where the lockdown would be more bearable. could.
It was also said that Ms Smith was not in great health, and that she may have moved to a warmer climate as a result.
No one knew for sure, but the general belief was that they had quietly left as soon as they arrived.
The restrictions of the pandemic would have meant that there was no possibility of knocking on nearby houses to say goodbye, but the couple were so calm that it would not have been in their nature to do so.
He liked his privacy and respected him by the local community.
But this week a local got uncomfortable. He had not seen anyone in the house. No visitors, no families, no property agents or surveyors, and yet a car was parked behind the property, and so they contacted Mark Fitzgerald, a local councillor.
In addition to being a local councillor, Mr Fitzgerald also runs Thatch Pub in the nearby village of Clonine. You might expect a councilor and preacher to know everyone in a small, quiet village in rural Ireland, but he had never met the couple who lived in the house.
They decided that the best thing to do would be to contact Gardai and ask if they could conduct a welfare check on the property.
This is probably the best course of action when people have concerns about a neighbor, and Gardai has better training and experience when it comes to such situations. And likewise Smith’s bodies were found at around 4 pm on Monday.
There is now a sense of sadness and disbelief that a couple can stay dead inside a home for so long unnoticed, but a number of factors have made this an unpleasant reality. It was an almost perfect storm of circumstances that would turn into a tragic tragedy.
The fact was that the Smiths came from outside the area, that they were very private people who didn’t socialize, and that they told people they were moving.
Then Kovid came into play, where the society was requested to maintain distance from each other, disturb the social interaction and normal conversation of life.
Gardai has now embarked on the arduous task of trying to formally identify the couple, and hopes to find relatives somewhere so they can rest.
Postmortem and forensic tests will eventually help shed light on what happened and whether they died together at the same time, or if it was some time apart.
But for the village of Clonane and the surrounding townland in Tipperary, not far from the borders of Kilkenny to the east and Waterford to the south, it will take some time to pick up on the gloom of the events that took place in the clean bungalow. The winding country road that he was sure was empty.