News Irish News

Monday 14 October 2019

Hundreds attend funeral of Irishman (83) who died in London with no known family

Sad: RTÉ’s Ryan Tubridy with Margaret De Brun of Friends of the Forgotten Irish at the funeral of Joseph Tuohy in Glasthule. Photo: Colin Keegan/Collins
Sad: RTÉ’s Ryan Tubridy with Margaret De Brun of Friends of the Forgotten Irish at the funeral of Joseph Tuohy in Glasthule. Photo: Colin Keegan/Collins

Sarah Slater

Hundreds of mourners gathered at St Joseph's Church in Glasthule, Co Dublin, for the funeral Mass of an elderly Irishman who died in London without any known family.

Joseph Tuohy died in Islingon in July at the age of 83.

Ceremony: Mourners at the funeral of Tuohy in Glasthule, Dublin, yesterday. Photo: Colin Keegan/Collins
Ceremony: Mourners at the funeral of Tuohy in Glasthule, Dublin, yesterday. Photo: Colin Keegan/Collins

He was remembered for the "man he was and lives he touched" by strangers who never met him but honoured his memory at the Mass.

For more than half an hour before the 10am ceremony, mourners began to fill the church. His remains were welcomed to the air of 'May the Road Rise to Meet You' by renowned soprano Maria Fitzgerald, accompanied by organist Ronan Murray.

Mr Tuohy's friend Brian Boylan wrote to Margaret De Brun, co-founder of Friends of the Forgotten Irish, asking for help in ensuring the Tipperary man received a dignified and respectful funeral Mass and burial.

Both were honoured for their work by Fr Denis Kennedy in his emotional homily.

A lone piper plays a lament. Photo: Colin Keegan/Collins
A lone piper plays a lament. Photo: Colin Keegan/Collins

Fr Kennedy told mourners that: "Joseph Tuohy was born in the village of Toomevara, Co Tipperary, in 1936. He saw his mother Mary for the last time in 1942 outside the courthouse in Nenagh. She had just given him a treat of lemonade and biscuits. Suddenly, she was taken away in a car by gardaí, while strangers placed Joseph in another car.

"He was torn from his mother, who gave him love and protection. Mary was destined for the Magdalene laundry in Limerick city's Good Shepherd convent. Joseph's destination was Ferryhouse Industrial School near Clonmel. Here he remained for 10 years. Mary never left the institution in Limerick, where she was known as Mary Flannery."

Mr Tuohy's ashes were led out from the church to the strains of 'Bring Him Home' by a lone piper Seán Kelly.

His ashes will be buried in a private ceremony in Toomevara in the coming days.

Irish Independent

Editor's Choice

Also in Irish News