AN Irishman who faced being buried in a pauper’s grave in Britain was laid to rest yesterday in his home town in Ireland.
Seán Parker died in a Kent nursing home in July but with no family to contact Medway Council were forced to issue an appeal to trace any living relatives.
After a call out for information and discussion on RTÉ’s Liveline radio show and on local radio in Galway, locals and the former principal of Ballincurry school, Marty Ward, were able to provide important information about Sean’s background and his root in glinsk, Co. Galway.
Arrangements were then made for Mr Parker’s body to be flown to Ireland, with two funeral directors, Dowds of Glinsk and Smyths Funeral Directors Ltd assisting with repatriation and funeral arrangements.
A number of Mr Parker’s old school friends and members of the local community attended the funeral yesterday.
Mayo singer/songwriter Gerry Carney, who had a hit with the song Paddy about his late uncle who left Ireland for Britain in the 1960's and was later killed on a building site, sung that song at the graveside.
“It was one of the most emotional performances I’ve ever given,” he said. “Sean Parker R.I.P. really was the Paddy in my song.”
Mr Parker was born in 1935 and attended The Glinsk National School before moving to Dublin with his family after his mother died in 1945.
He later moved to London and in his final years was a resident in Hopkinson House nursing home where he died in July.