Appeal for Irish community in Birmingham to attend funeral of John Joseph Gill

Appeal for Irish community in Birmingham to attend funeral of John Joseph Gill

AN ORGANISATION that helped trace the relatives of an Irishman who died alone in Birmingham, England hopes Irish people in the West Midlands can attend his funeral.

Birmingham City Council appealed for help in tracing relatives of 86-year-old John Joseph Gill after he passed away peacefully in November 2022.

The appeal later gained momentum on social media, with one post seeking information being shared more than 2,000 times.

Thanks to the work of Irish probate genealogists Erin Research, which specialises in tracing missing beneficiaries, they have been able to assist the council in tracing some of Mr Gill's next-of-kin.

They include two siblings and three nieces and nephews, with one Birmingham-based niece unaware she had an uncle living so close by.


Mr Gill's funeral is now due to take place this coming Friday and Padraic Grennan of Erin Research hopes the Irish in the West Midlands can help give him a fitting send-off.

"Given the sad and lonely circumstances of Mr Gill's passing, we are hopeful that members of the Irish community in Birmingham will come out to attend his funeral," he told The Irish Post.

Mr Grennan previously told RTÉ News how his organisation felt compelled to assist Birmingham City Council in their search efforts, offering their services on a pro bono basis.

"This is an Irishman abroad who could have ended up in a pauper's grave," he told the broadcaster.


Birmingham City Council's original appeal revealed that Mr Gill was one of nine siblings and a father of four, who had lost contact with his family.

It also reported that he was born in Co. Roscommon on August 31, 1936.

Following their involvement, Erin Research discovered that the birth date was one day out and that Mr Gill was actually from Co. Westmeath.

After this break in the investigation, the Co. Louth firm were able to obtain a birth certificate for the Irishman and later a marriage certificate for his parents, which helped them trace Mr Gill's next-of-kin.

Despite sadly losing contact with his family, the work of Erin Research has ensured some of the Westmeath native's relatives will be able to attend his funeral, where his final wish that he be buried will be honoured.

However, the organisation hopes many more people will attend the service as the Irishman is laid to rest.

The funeral will take place at Sutton New Hall Cemetery, Lindridge Road, Sutton Coldfield, B75 7HX on Friday, January 20, 2023 at 3pm.