Mourners asked to leave Covid patient’s funeral after not wearing face masks

Mourners Asked To Leave Covid Patient’s Funeral After Not Wearing Face Masks
Joe McCarron (67) died after contracting Covid-19 and was buried on Sunday in his native Donegal. Photo: Getty Images.
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Stephen Maguire

A number of people were asked to leave a Co Donegal church during the funeral of a man who died from Covid because they were not wearing face masks.

Joe McCarron (67) died after contracting Covid-19 and was buried on Sunday following his funeral mass at St Crona's Church in Dungloe.


At least five people were asked to leave the church because they were not wearing face coverings in line with Government guidelines.

Gardaí confirmed that they attended the church after a report was made to them of people not wearing face coverings.

A Garda spokesperson said: "Gardaí received report of a number of people inside a church not wearing face coverings in Dungloe, Co Donegal on the 26th September 2021.

“Gardaí attended and provided advice to those present. No offences disclosed. Enquiries ongoing.”


The spokesperson noted that garda members are not “compliance officers” in respect of regulations requiring the wearing of face masks in certain indoor settings under the Health Act.

Viral video

The case of Mr McCarron, who is survived by his wife Una, drew media attention after he decided to leave Letterkenny University Hospital against medical advice after contracting Covid-19.

His departure from the hospital on Tuesday week was filmed by a group of anti-vaccination campaigners and went viral on social media.

In the video, doctors are heard pleading with Mr McCarron to remain in hospital. However, the protestors tell Mr McCarron that he will die if he remains in the hospital.


After leaving hospital, Mr McCarron was rushed back two days later on Thursday last after having severe breathing difficulties.

He was initially put on a ventilator and had been showing signs of improving. However, his condition deteriorated and he died on Friday afternoon.

'Fragility of life'

His funeral mass heard of the fragility of life, and of the heartache and loss suffered by his family and friends.

Donegal man who died of Covid laid to rest in his...
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Father Eddie Gallagher told mourners: “This is a very sad day, and we think of the bereaved who are broken-hearted on this day.”

“The best gift, the only gift, we can give to Joe McCarron today is our prayers.”

“The person who will miss Joe most of all is his wife Una,” said Fr Gallagher. “We offer our prayers and sympathy to Una who today is widowed and broken-hearted.”

Mr McCarron, born in 1954, was a former radio DJ who was well-known in Dungloe. More recently, he was a carer to his wife of 38 years, Una.

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