Sligo Champion

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Popular Joe now has his headstone

A campaign was launched earlier this year to raise money to erect a headstone at the grave of Sligo character, Joe Carroll.

On Saturday afternoon, a special ceremony was held at his graveside in Sligo Cemetery for the unveiling of the headstone.

It was made possible through the generosity of a number of Sligo people.

The main committee set up for the campaign included Valerie Finan, Tommy Higgins, Jim Meehan and Annie McLoughlin.

The well-known Sligo man fondly known as straightback died more than ten years ago.

However, until the weekend, there was no gravestone by his graveside.

There was a large group of people at the service on Saturday afternoon.

A blessing was given by Fr Noel Rooney beside Joe's grave.

Local musician Georgie Gorman emotively sang the Lake Isle of Innisfree at the unveiling.

This was Joe's favourite song. It was clear that Straightback was a dear friend to many, with the crowd paying tribute to the local man at the ceremony.

Joe was a regular sight around Sligo town with his navy trench coat and famous cap.

He was often mistaken for a garda or traffic warden as he liked to direct the town's traffic on certain occasions.

His own mode of transport was a black bicycle which was a regular sight around Sligo in the eighties and nineties.

Before Christmas of last year, it was decided to launch a campaign to get a headstone for Joe's grave.

His mother is also buried there and people suggested setting up a fund to enable the erection of a headstone for Joe and his mother.

Their efforts were paid off on Saturday.

Sligo Champion