St Patrick's Day parade organisers apologise for entry depicting dead Carlow pensioner

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St Patrick's Day Parade Organisers Apologise For Entry Depicting Dead Carlow Pensioner St Patrick's Day Parade Organisers Apologise For Entry Depicting Dead Carlow Pensioner
The organisers of a parade in Kilfenora, Co Clare said they 'acted in a tone-deaf manner' in allowing the entry to take part in the parade. Photo: PA Images
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Sarah Slater

Organisers of a St Patrick’s Day parade which had a float depicting the death of a pensioner in an apparent attempt to claim his pension at a Carlow town post office have said they “acted in a tone-deaf” manner in allowing the entry to take part.

Peadar Doyle (66) from Pollerton, Co Carlow passed away on Friday, January 21st. Gardaí believe the pensioner was already dead when he was taken into his nearby post office, where a relative of Mr Doyle’s and one other man allegedly took him to collect his pension.

The garda investigation has so far shown the pensioner did not die suddenly at the post office and officers have also established evidence that Mr Doyle was alive earlier that morning.

A postmortem has determined there was no foul play in Mr Doyle’s death but was only able to estimate the time of death as some time on that Friday morning.

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A man has been charged with two counts of deception in relation to the incident and gardaí are continuing with their investigations. A court case is pending.

Mr Doyle’s family and friends were among those condemning floats which appeared at several parades around the country last week depicting the matter.

It’s never good to apologise retrospectively over the hurt that’s been caused and the difficult times the family have and are going through.

Organisers of the parade in Kilfenora, Co Clare have now publicly apologised.

Speaking on Clare FM’s Morning Focus with Alan Morrissey, Orla Vaughan, one of the parade's organisers said they “really, really, really apologise” to Mr Doyle’s family, especially his sister Noeleen.

Ms Vaughan added that what was allowed to occur was “tone-deaf of us”.

"It’s never good to apologise retrospectively over the hurt that’s been caused and the difficult times the family have and are going through."

Ms Vaughan said the parade organisers have written to the Doyle family to apologise, adding that in the 25 years of running the parade this is the first time that “upset” has been caused.

She added there was no criteria for entry but a vetting process for future parades would be put in place.

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Those overseeing a parade in Belmullet, Co Mayo, who awarded a prize for a similar entry, have yet to issue a statement.

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Local Fianna Fáil councillor Shane Talty outlined that the parade was not organised by Clare County Council and was put together by a local community group.

“The event was not a Council-run project and I’ve spoken with the organisers of the parade. They and those who entered the float have accepted that they did not fully think out what they were doing,” Cllr Talty said.

“They regret any offence caused to Mr Doyle’s family and to his local community that is why they are issuing a public apology.”

It has also emerged that parade organisers in Ardara, Co Donegal had two entries depicting the same event. A video of the parade has since been taken down from their Facebook page following complaints.

A close family friend of Mr Doyle and former Carlow-based Independent councillor. Walter Lacey said Ms Vaughan’s apology was “full-some and generous”.

On Monday, a relative of Mr Doyle’s thanked her local community for their support shown to the family saying they were “angered” by the parades' representations and the “ridicule” that their deceased relative has suffered.

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