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Sunday 26 January 2020

He chose this life and was happy in it, say brothers at funeral of mystery recluse

The hearse carrying the remains of Alan Moore (pictured below) passes the house in Lower John Street, Wexford where he was found.
The hearse carrying the remains of Alan Moore (pictured below) passes the house in Lower John Street, Wexford where he was found.
Alan Moore's brothers Philip and Stewart at the memorial service in Mullingan's Funeral Home.

Edel O'Connell

AN acoustic guitar leaned against a coffin in a funeral parlour yesterday where the family of an intensely private man came to say their last goodbyes.

The instrument and an accompanying photograph of a smiling, long-haired man finally provided some clue as to the kind of person Alan Moore was.

The reclusive Englishman's identity has been shrouded in mystery since his body was discovered in a rented home on Lower John Street in Wexford town on Sunday, March 18.

The 61-year-old lay dead for almost three months before the alarm was finally raised by a woman who noticed a Christmas tree still lit in the window of his house.

Gardai eventually managed to get in touch with relatives in his native Salford near Manchester by posting a notice in a local newspaper.

Yesterday, two of those relatives -- brothers Philip and Stewart Moore -- travelled to Wexford for an ecumenical service.

They stood side by side in Mulligan's Funeral Home with a small coterie of locals to say their goodbyes to a brother they had not seen in 23 years.

As the service got under way the details of the life of a man determined to live on his own terms began to unfurl.

Church of Ireland Reverend Ron Graham said although he did not know Mr Moore he had learned he wasn't "a great mixer or a great socialiser" but a very intelligent man who was well educated and a gifted musician, singer and songwriter.

After the service, local media representatives were called on to help the brothers lift the heavy coffin on to the hearse.

Bathed in the afternoon sunshine, the grieving pair told of a sibling who had many sides.

"Alan was a man of at least two sides if not more. There was the side that we knew, the boy we grew up with as children, who stole apples from orchards, chased each other through the streets and kicked a football with.

Introvert

"Then there was the extrovert who liked nothing more than taking to the streets to busk. Music was his one true love in life. But there was possibly a third side, the introvert that we didn't know," said Stewart.

"We are not the kind of family who live in each other's pockets. We respected Alan and the kind of life he wanted to live," said Philip.

The brothers described their late sibling as a highly educated man who was grammar school-educated and had earned a place in the University of Stirling in Scotland for a business degree he never completed.

"He was also offered an accountancy job with a firm but he turned it down. Alan never held down a steady job in his life, he just travelled around the world playing his music and doing odd jobs," said Philip.

It is understood Mr Moore, who has five surviving siblings, has two daughters and a son with his first wife. The brothers could make no further comment as to whether Mr Moore was still legally married to a second wife, known only as Juliet.

After the service the small gathering of mourners drove in a procession to Mr Moore's house where they laid a wreath of red carnations.

Philip and Stewart paused at the tiny terraced house and bent to read the messages pinned to the dried-out bunches of flowers which hung from the door and windows. One read: "Rest in Peace Alan, you are not alone anymore."

Afterwards they thanked the people of Wexford for their concern. "We have been approached by so many lovely people who said they felt genuinely guilty about what happened. We want to say that nobody in Wexford should reproach themselves over what happened to my brother, he chose the kind of life he led, he was happy in that life," he said.

Following a cremation in Dublin today the ashes will be sent to the family at a later date.

Irish Independent

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