Saturday 21 January 2017

The pain – and fun – of saying goodbye while you're still here

Published 28/04/2014 | 02:30

"Friends came up. It was sort of an alive ‘sorry for your troubles’"

THIS is the true story of Paddy Joe Keane, the man who attended his own wake while he was still alive.

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Paddy Joe's farewell was a traditional Irish wake with lashings of drink and a sing-song. But even Paddy couldn't cheat death, and three weeks after the living wake, hundreds of mourners paid tribute to a brave and funny man who finally lost his battle with lung cancer. Paddy Joe was a 40-a-day man and in the end it was the cigarettes that got him. He was only 53.

Paddy Joe lived in Killenard in Coy Laois, the puck of a five iron away from the palatial Heritage Golf and Spa club.

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