• Morgan Fagg

Lockdown Voices Number 24 TOMMY

Daddy Doesn't Pray Anymore

When I learnt that my uncle had passed away, I knew that it would be impossible to make it home for the funeral unlike two years ago when my aunt passed away and I was able to get time off work and travel back to Ireland.

Not only was it impossible to return home but my family living in Athlone were unable to attend as well. All over the world, people are fearful of Covid-19 and rightfully so but while my uncle died of Cancer, the restrictions are the same in keeping families and communities safe.

My uncle lived on the same street as me when I was growing up and last week I posted about the graveyard in our area. https://www.nohemingway.com/post/dead-centre-of-ireland and wrote:

"There are no flights home at the moment, only recorded ceremonies and separated families and as doctors and nurses and their patients die around the world as a result of “The Common Cold,” I wonder what dignity has been robbed of family traditions and burial practices?

For me, if something went wrong, there is only isolation from family and quick cremations and I can imagine returning to the dead centre of the world with my ashes being scattered in that old cemetery in Cornamagh. Well, what else would you do in Cornamagh?"

I was afraid that Covid-19 was going to rob families of their dignity and knowing that my uncle was a religious man who I believe was a sacristan in Saint Peter's and Paul's Church for years, I was disappointed that he would be denied a full mass after years, serving his church.

Not only was this not the case but I heard his coffin was carried on his rowboat according to his wishes which sounds more like a viking than anything else and not even Noah got carried to his final resting place like that.

My father went to the graveyard and my mother waited outside with an aunt of mine and the service was restricted to immediate family only.

It must be unimaginable to think, that people in Spain and Italy have been denied proper buriel services and I am reminded about the story of Enzo Ferrari where the great Alfa Romeo racing driver and Italian car manufacturer died on a bank holiday and was buried before the news had reached his friends, fans and followers. The week or month beforehand, a GP driver had died and received a hero's funeral with a bishop prociding over the service.

Things must be very different right now in Italy right now but what about Ireland? These are difficult times and I am sure very difficult times for priests who comfort families and provide these services. Priests who depend on people like my uncle Tommy Moran to help them with weekly services.

I am not a religious man and I didn't know my uncle well enough to comment much more on his life but his son Trevor shared this beautiful song which I feel I have to include in Lockdown Voices.

The song is a cover called Daddy doesn't Pray and Trevor has posted that it is a Chris Stapelton Cover. I am not familiar with the song but Trevor does a fantastic rendition of it and I have just subscribed to Muddog Music and will have to check out more of his music.

Thank you, Trevor, for sharing this beautiful song.

R.I.P. Tommy

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