Nudist hermit, 71, found dead in remote hills of Ireland

Police found Peter O'Neill when they went to check on him in his self-built home

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A mysterious nudist who lived alone in remote mountains for more than 20 years had likely been dead for months when his remains were finally found.

Police found Peter O'Neill, 71, dead after they were sent to check on him in the home he built for himself in Ireland's Wicklow Mountains.

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His body was in a decomposed state at his writing desk in the ramshackle dwelling in the Glenmalure Hills.




Credits: RTE

When it came time to identify the English-accented man's body Gardai and Interpol couldn't find his next of kin or anyone related to him.

RTE

Credits: RTE

RTE

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No one knew for sure that Peter O'Neill was even his real name - or what drove him to live alone for more than two decades.

A new RTE documentary has set out to find answers as to who Peter really was and why went to great lengths to avoid other humans.

Police discovered his body in May 2015 after staff at Glenmalure Lodge told them he had not visited to collect his post in some time.

Credits: RTE

RTE

Credits: RTE

RTE

His last journal entry was January 18 of last year.

The local Church of Ireland and Catholic priests officiated at his funeral, which was attended by a few of the locals out of respect for him.

Some said they liked him even though he constantly argued with them.

Inside his home police found a library and correspondence that may shed some light on his background.

Credits: RTE

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He was interested in rare and medicinal herbs, and locals claimed he was contrary and his own worst enemy, preferring dogs to humans.

He often asked a local priest questions about religion, although his faith was a mystery.

Retired Garda Richard Galvin said: "I used to visit him here. He was some kind of loner or hermit.

Credits: RTE

RTE

Credits: RTE

RTE

"He had built a hut where an old ruin once existed in the middle of the forest. When you would arrive, you would think nobody was home.

"You got the feeling you were under observation. You could stand for five or ten minutes when out of the bushes, he would suddenly appear.

"He was a wild-looking character really but he was clean-shaven, his hair was as if he cut it himself. He was complaining he had been hunted out of everywhere."

Peter left behind hundreds of books and letters, and most of his belongings were put in his nearest neighbours' shed.


Beautiful remote communities around the world

Beautiful remote communities around the world