Tractors save the day for mourners

Tractors save the day for mourners
The remains of John Clarke being transported to Saints’ Island Graveyard, Co Longford, which was cut-off by flooding. Photograph James FlynnAPX

Tractors guide funeral procession through Longford flood

Community pulls together in midlands to ensure John Clarke (69) can be buried

A rural community in the midlands rallied together on Monday to take a man across 1km of floodwater on a causeway for his burial.

John Clarke (69), from Longford, passed away on Christmas day.

He was buried in his native Saints’ Island following funeral mass at the Church of the Blessed Virgin in Newtowncashel.

His remains were accompanied by mourners across a flooded causeway on tractors to Saints’ Island Cemetery.

Recent floods have left the area inaccessible except to local farmers who travel across the causeway by tractor.

The funeral was made possible by the actions of the local community who provided tractors, dug the grave and made sure the procession could pass safely.

Cllr Gerard Farrell (Fine Gael) said the funeral was “a once in a lifetime occasion”.

He said “a few neighbours just met up each other and went and dug the grave and got the funeral ready.”

Local farmers also set down markers indicating the edge of the causeway, he added.

Mr Farrell said the causeway was covered with water which was about “knee high”.


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