A niece of the late pensioner Peadar Doyle has slammed comedian Jason Byrne for “making a mockery” of the situation surround her uncle's death.
Mr Doyle’s family have been left angered and upset over comments made by the comedian following a number of St Patrick's Day parade floats which parodied the incident, depicting a slumped body being held up by two men in an apparent attempt to claim the deceased man's pension.
The 66-year-old pensioner, from Pollerton, Co Carlow, died on Friday, January 21st. Gardaí believe Mr Doyle was already dead when he was taken into his nearby post office.
Charmaine Dowling, Mr Doyle’s niece who delivered the eulogy at his Funeral Mass, has criticised Mr Byrne for comments he made online following news of the parade floats, calling for him to apologise.
“Jason Byrne, I want you to know how deeply you have hurt us, the family of Peadar Doyle.
“I must assure you that despite your deplorable taste in humour and your sub-par attitude, there is nothing funny about making a mockery of a kind man by imitating the tragic and alleged circumstances of his passing.
“It is horrifying enough that my family had to endure the imagined events in our minds following the depictions that appeared in the media, without seeing it replicated for unsavoury humour as he is paraded down the street in celebration.”
Ms Dowling added the parody floats were a “disgraceful embarrassment to the Irish people on our national holiday and I am shocked that you would involve yourself by perpetuating this hurt.
"If you have nothing good to say, then say nothing at all. It’s insulting on a national level and on a personal level.
“This has traumatised us as a family and we consider your involvement to be a further attack on Peadar’s memory and by extension, on his grieving family. I await your heartfelt apology.”
Ms Dowling described her late uncle as “exceptionally special", adding he was "like Robin Williams meets Gene Kelly".
"He was magical. I spent so much of my childhood in his house. It’s not only hurtful to the family but to the entire Carlow community. There’s been so much hurt.”
Mr Byrne was contacted for comment but, as of yet no, statement or comment has been made.
Commenting on the parade floats on social media, Mr Byrne said: “Very good lads. These guys taking the piss out of a pair of loonies who dragged a dead body to the post office to claim his pension. Great debate about whether this is funny or not. Keep it up guys, we’re all enjoying your comments.”