The late Joe McCarron will be remembered, treasured and loved, mourners heard at his funeral Mass on Sunday.
The 67-year-old Donegal man, who died from Covid-19, was laid to rest in his hometown of Dungloe.
The Irish Times reports that his funeral Mass heard of the fragility of life, and of the heartache and loss suffered by his family and friends.
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.”
Mr McCarron was a Covid-19 patient at Letterkenny University Hospital.
On Tuesday, September 14th, he was encouraged to leave the hospital, against medical advice, when anti-vaccination campaigners claimed he was being forced into intensive care.
Mr McCarron was readmitted to hospital two days later. He was subsequently placed on a ventilator, but his condition deteriorated and he died on Friday.
“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.
The Donegal man’s illness made headlines when video footage of him discharging himself from hospital was posted online and went viral.
A family spokesman said after he returned to hospital that Mr McCarron’s wife Una wanted to apologise to hospital staff for what had happened and criticised those who helped remove him from hospital as “reckless.”
“They did not help Joe’s recovery in any way. We would encourage everyone to follow proper medical advice,” he said.
Mr McCarron’s case is one of a number of incidents relating to activists attempting to spread disinformation about Covid-19 at Irish hospitals.
Gardaí have appointed a senior investigating officer to oversee an investigation into recent incidents at Letterkenny University Hospital.