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US woman ‘grateful’ to be reunited with parents’ ashes lost in Dublin flight

Donna O'Connor arrived into Dublin Airport from Chicago via Toronto at the end of June with plans to scatter the remains of her Irish-American parents, Robert Emmett and Patricia O'Connor, in Co Mayo.
Donna O'Connor wanted to scatter her parents' ashes in Co Mayo because of her family's Irish heritage

Donna O'Connor wanted to scatter her parents' ashes in Co Mayo because of her family's Irish heritage

Neasa CumiskeySunday World

An American woman has thanked the people of Ireland for their “support and kindness” after an airport worker helped her relocate her parents’ ashes.

Donna O'Connor arrived into Dublin Airport from Chicago via Toronto at the end of June with plans to scatter the remains of her Irish-American parents, Robert Emmett and Patricia O'Connor, in Co Mayo.

Her plans were interrupted when the suitcase carrying their ashes failed to show up, and she spent most of her time in Ireland desperately trying to find it.

She later found out that the suitcase had been sent back to her home in Chicago, and after trying to get in touch with the airline, Ms O'Connor received confirmation that they would ship the bag back to Dublin.

Donna's parents, Robert Emmett and Patricia O'Connor

Donna's parents, Robert Emmett and Patricia O'Connor

However, Ms O’Connor had already left Dublin by then and had moved on to different accommodation in Kildare.

But thanks to the kindness of Dublin Airport worker Dermot, who had heard her pleas to be reunited with her parents’ ashes, her problem was solved.

“He kept looking for the luggage for me, and then texted me and said ‘I think your luggage is coming in on a United flight, and I'm going to meet that flight and make sure that it gets to a courier and gets to you. Where are you now?’” she told Newstalk’s Lunchtime Live.

Donna said that she doesn’t think she’d see her luggage again without the kindness of Irish people.

“I was in Maynooth, because I left Dublin after about eight or nine days. He got it out to me, and I'm so grateful to Dermot.

“I don't believe I would have the luggage without the people in Ireland helping me with this.

“It wasn't Air Canada; it was all the support and kindness that I got in Ireland that brought them back to me”.

Donna said that, with Dermot’s help. she has since scattered her parents ashes in Castlebar.

"We're so happy to get my parents’ ashes back, and it took about two and a half weeks.

“But I was thrilled to get them back and attended mass with my parents' ashes with me.

“I'm now in Mayo, in Castlebar, and have spread their ashes as well”.

She added: “There's not a nicer population of people than in Ireland - they're just very welcoming and kind and generous.

"It's them that's held me up throughout".


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