THE REMAINS of a Limerickman have been left in a morgue in the UK for four months awaiting repatriation, his anguished family have told the Limerick Leader.
Seanie Morrison, who is from the Island Field and now resides in British Columbia in Canada, said his brother Michael passed away in the seaside resort town of Southend-on-Sea, Essex, this May, but has remained in a local morgue for several months due to regulations regarding identification.
Seanie said his brother Michael was found dead in his apartment this May by a female next-door neighbour, after his friends grew concerned when they hadnâ€™t seen him at the local pub.
He said the neighbour found him â€œon the couch, his arms crossed and a smile on his face in a sleeping bag.â€
The neighbour had grown concerned as â€œMichael would knock five times on the wall to let the next door lady know he was OK and home.â€
With no relatives residing nearby to identify him, the deceasedâ€™s son provided a DNA sample to prove this was his father and allow for his remains to be brought back to Ireland.
Seanie, 77, said it was intended that his remains would be cremated and his ashes brought back to Limerick, to be buried in Mount St Lawrence graveyard, alongside their father Michael.
â€œI am appalled at this whole episode.. Michael was the only brother I had,â€ he told this newspaper.
After Michaelâ€™s son handed over several DNA samples, Seanie said it was eventually established that the DNA is a match, but they have been hit by fresh delays, regarding issuing the death certificate and cremating the remains, as key personnel have been on holiday, he said.
When contacted by the Limerick Leader, Essex police said they did not have any records of his death, but added they would not have records of non-suspicious deaths.
Queries to the HM Coronerâ€™s Office in Southend have gone unanswered.
A press officer for Essex County Council could only comment to say that the Coronerâ€™s Office is â€œextremely busyâ€ at present.
The Health Service Executive also said they generally do not have any involvement in such matters, as these affairs are usually dealt with by the deceasedâ€™s family and funeral undertakers in the country where they passed away.
Michael, a father of three, had emigrated to England when he was aged 16.
The cause of death is unknown.