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Hosey’s Post Office on Staplestown Road, Carlow. Eamonn Farrell
Peadar Doyle

'Huge outrage' from Carlow community over depiction of pensioner's death in two St Patrick's Day parades

Councillor Andrea Dalton called on the two local groups to apologise for the depiction.

A CARLOW COUNCILLOR has said there has been a “huge outpouring of outrage” from the local community at two St Patrick’s Day parades that featured a depiction of a Carlow pensioner who died earlier this year.

It was widely reported in January that pensioner Peadar Doyle, aged 66, was brought to the local post office on Staplestown Road by two men. It has been alleged that the two men tried to claim Peadar’s pension, and that it was later discovered that Peadar had died.

Two men aged in their 30s were arrested at the time, and Gardaí suspect no foul play in his death. A man was later charged and the case is currently before the courts.

One of the two parades that depicted the scene of a man being carried towards a post office box was in Belmullet, Co Mayo, and the other was in Kilfenora, Co Clare.

Videos were taken of the scenes that were widely shared on social media over the weekend.

Fianna Fáil councillor Andrea Dalton has called on the two local groups that organised the parades to apologise for the depictions.

Dalton told The Journal that there had been a “huge outpouring of outrage” from her local community about the incidents, and that she was contacted by a number of people over email and through social media about it. 

Peadar was much loved and respected in the community, and we in Ireland deal with death in a decent way. But that incident, people in Carlow are still reeling from it. His family are still grieving, and to see it depicted as comedy… it stepped beyond the realms of decency.

“I will ask them to send an apology,” she said, when asked had she contacted the local groups that organised the parades.

She said that parades are usually run by local communities and not the councils, and that there may be learnings here of what best process there is to decide what floats or acts should be included in local parades.

There have been no apologies from either local group. The least that could be done is to apologise to the poor man’s family to say that it was a mistake and it was wrong. Their privacy was intruded on, and they did everything at the time of the story to protect him – they didn’t release a photo of him.

“Now this man’s name is going to be splashed all over media again, and it’s not so long ago that [his death] happened.”

She said that the outrage “comes from hurt” at the incident, and added that though “we all like a bit of humour”, this depiction showed “a lack of a moral compass”.

“They’ve made a mistake, and the best way to deal with it is to apologise,” she said.

A local man who knew Peadar and who was also a former local councillor, Walter Lacey, told Newstalk earlier today that the two parade depictions made “a complete mockery” of his death, and it was “so offensive and so thoughtless”.

“It’s just not on, it’s so offensive,” he said.

He said that it’s also traumatic for the staff of the Post Office once again, as well as Peadar’s family. Lacey said that Peadar’s family had also called for an apology, and that many people including himself had contacted the parade organisers on their Facebook page, but had received no reply.

The Journal attempted to contact the organisers of both local parades for comment via email this evening. No reply was received at the time of publication.