The post-St Patrick’s parade apology showed the body of a pensioner from Carlow allegedly taken to the post office

Organizers of a St Patrick’s Day parade have written to family members of a Carlow pensioner whose body was allegedly carried into a post office last month to apologize for the “tone deaf” entry that marked his death.

he St Patrick’s Day parade in Kilfenora, Co. Clare was one of at least two parades depicting the dead pensioner Peader Doyle being taken to a post office in Carlow ostensibly to collect his pension.

Co-organiser of the annual parade in the Burren village of Kilfenora, Orla Vaughan, admitted today that the only criteria for taking part in the parade is ‘please come with a float’.

Ms Vaughan said there is no verification of floats for the event.

Speaking to Alan Morrissey on Clare FM’s Morning Focus programme, Ms Vaughan said: “First and foremost to Noeleen, Peader’s sister, and Liam and Christopher, Peader’s brothers-in-law, my sincere apologies because I can understand the pain it is has caused them in the last few days.”

Ms Vaughan said that “it’s awful to bring difficult times back to them after the deaths of their brother and brother-in-law”.

Mr Doyle, 66, from Pollerton, Co Carlow, died on Friday January 21 and Gardaí believe the pensioner was already dead when he was taken to his nearby post office, although a post-mortem has determined it was not Foul play gave death himself.

Another parade depicting the incident at the post office took place in Belmullet, Co. Mayo.

Ms Vaughan said today that she and a co-organizer of the annual St Patrick’s Day parade in Kilfenora on Monday sent a card apologizing to Mr Doyle’s relatives.

Ms Vaughan said she sent the card to the relatives who looked after the undertakers who attended to Mr Doyle’s funeral.

Ms Vaughan said she understood why there had been such a stir about the listing.

She said: “It is of absolutely no consolation to Noeleen and her family that we are all sitting here with downcast eyes [saying] ‘God, I’m so sorry, that was numb from us, we shouldn’t have done that’.”

Ms Vaughan said: “I have written an apology and I apologize now and I would like to speak [to Mr Doyle’s relatives] direct.”

She said: “We thought the best course of action would be to speak directly to the family and send them a card, which was released on Monday.”

She added, “I know there is a family behind this that is still grieving the death and what followed.”

Ms Vaughan admitted she hadn’t seen the ‘post office’ entry on the parade until it came up the road at the parade.

She said: “We’ve been doing the parade for 25 years. We are a very small village and we are in competition with many big cities in the area and the criterion is ‘please come with a float’.”

Ms Vaughan said: “There is no checking of carriages and no viewing of carriages before they take off in a parade. To be honest, I wasn’t aware of the car until it was coming back through the village.”

Ms Vaughan said she is leading the parade with a co-organizer who was ill last week, “so it’s ‘me, me and me’ who have to take responsibility for it”.

Recalling the parade, Ms Vaughan said: “I was at the front with our master of ceremonies, St Patrick. All the little people go after it and then it’s heavier vehicles and stuff like that. I was walking it up the street and it was coming back just as I saw the car.”

Ms Vaughan said that after the events, the parade needed to consider reviewing future events.

She said, “This has hurt Peader’s family a lot and most importantly, I can’t imagine what Noeleen is going through.”

Ms Vaughan said there had been no criteria for entering the parade and that it was what had happened in the news over 12 months “and so on”.

She said: “Yeah, it’s just unfortunate.”

The priest who led Mr Doyle’s funeral mass last week said “people should have more respect for the dead” – after the parodies surfaced.

Father Tom Little said death comes to all of us and that people should be more considerate of the feelings of loved ones of the deceased before treating a death as a matter for comedy.

“Preader should be given the dignity he was,” said Fr. Tom Little.

“He was a very decent man.

“He was a family man and he certainly shouldn’t have made, how would I describe it, into a parody.

“It was awful and he has family, you know?

“His sister is alive and they are mourning. It’s a lack of respect for the dead—it absolutely is.

“It’s really a bad reflection for them (the people behind the wagons).”

The parodies of Peader’s death appeared in parades in Clare, Kerry and Mayo.

After Peader’s death, his family issued a statement asking that his death be given the dignity it deserved.

They said: “We want to give Peader his dignity back.

“He was one of those special people whose kindness is humble but immense in the hearts of those he loved and those who loved him.

“A rare and kind hearted soul who does not deserve to be spoken of in such horrible words, we would ask that the courtesy and privacy be shown to our family at this sad time, and we hope and pray that we will.” Have support from our community.”

Peader’s nephew Declan Haughney, 40, of Pollerton Road, Carlow, appeared in court charged with a range of offences.

Haughney is accused of fraud, including attempting to withdraw his late uncle’s pension twice on January 21.

Mr Haughney is accused of entering the post office at 11.04am where he “dishonestly induced by deception” a staff member.

He is said to have shown a social security card in the name of Peader Doyle – in an attempt to collect a pension payment of 240 euros.

At 11.14am he remains charged with the same offense – dishonestly inciting a staff member at the same premises. Both charges breach Section 6 of the Criminal Justice (Theft and Fraud Offences) Act 2001.

Mr Haughney was released on bail on a number of conditions.

Judge Carthy ordered the accused to observe a 9am to 9pm curfew and report to Carlow Garda train station three times a week.

In addition, he must “be sober” and “remain drug-free,” the judge said.

The bail agreement was granted on the condition that the defendant post bail of €300 and deposit €200 in cash with the court. The post-St Patrick’s parade apology showed the body of a pensioner from Carlow allegedly taken to the post office

Fry Electronics Team

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