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Unknown man is laid to rest at last

The funeral of an unknown man in Lonan

The funeral of an unknown man in Lonan

  • by Jackie Turley
 

A man whose identity remains unknown was buried in Lonan churchyard following a short graveside service.

The body was dredged up by fishermen a mile and a half off the coast of Ramsey in April last year and a lifeboat was launched to assist in the recovery of the body.

Despite efforts by the police to identify him, his identity remains a mystery.

About 20 mourners responded to Methodist Minister DeeDee Haines’ invitation to attend the short graveside on Tuesday morning.

Reverend Haines said: ‘Even though we don’t know his name, we know he is a human being who lived in this world and was created in God’s image and was loved by God always.

‘We invited people to be there as we commend this man to God and return him to the dust of the Earth.

‘It matters when someone leaves this world because it matters that they were here.’

She was unsurprised that residents felt moved to attend the funeral.

‘We have got a sense of community and caring for neighbours so people came to honour this man,’ she said.

She described Lonan as a welcoming rest place, as tradition has it, it was where monks chose to live when they first came to the island.

Coroner’s officer Mark Moyer explained that officers contacted the UK Missing Persons Bureau and extracted DNA in an attempt to identify him.

And inquiries were made with police forces in the North West of England and Ireland.

Officers did not believe the man was from the island.

‘The coroner made an order for burial only, in case a DNA link can be made in the future and the family can be tracked,’ he said.

The family could then choose to have the body exhumed and moved to a family grave or for a cremation.

He described the situation as ‘quite uncommon’.

 

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