Cousin found after appeal to find family of Irish man dying ’virtually alone’ in UK

An appeal to find the family of an Irish man dying "virtually alone" in a UK hospital has resulted in some success after a social media campaign.

The man was named on Facebook as Patrick John Mulligan and his neighbour Dave was seeking help contacting his family.

Facebook user Sue Smyth shared Dave’s message, putting out the call asking for help.

"If anyone can assist with this message please get in touch.....

"Hi I’m dave in London. My friend and next door neighbour of 20 years is from west limerick and I am trying to find his family as sadly he is dying in hospital virtually alone apart from my partner and myself. His name is Patrick John mulligan (john).

"He was born in April 1942. Could you put an appeal on your page for him (people are free to contact me) or could you point me in direction of another page? Thank you for your time thus far...."

After the call went out, Ms Smyth’s post was shared almost 30,000 times and she followed up by saying some strong leads had been come out of it.

A positive result was reached when Ms Smyth updated those following the story on Thursday.

"I have been contacted by the Luton Irish Forum who saw my post and they informed me that Finders Ireland (Finders International) have found cousins of John".

Finders International, according to their website, "work with anyone requiring help or assistance in identifying and locating missing or unknown beneficiaries, or tracing the next of kin to someone who has died with no known family."

As reported in the Irish Post, they saw the appeal and wanted to help.

"We just thought we’d see if we could help and did some genealogy work on it and discovered that Patrick John Mulligan has a cousin in the west of Ireland," Pauric Grennan told the Irish Post. 

"We spoke to him and discovered that Mr Mulligan has at least one half sibling still alive in Ireland.

"Mr Mulligan’s father, a garda, died before he was born and his mother remarried and had three children from her second marriage who would have been younger than Mr Mulligan.

"They’re really interested in getting to speak to Mr Mulligan." 

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By Steve Neville

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