The people of the County Mayo village of Foxford are preparing an Irish wake for a deceased Los Angeles police officer whose lifelong dream was to visit Ireland.
Deidre McCafferty met Jerry Kenney, who passed away before Christmas, and his wife while working in a bar in Los Angeles when she was young. Last year she connected with him again through Facebook, the Irish Independent reports.
McCafferty, who has since returned to live in Ireland, received a message from Kenney’s daughter in December saying that he had passed away. She asked if some of his ashes could be scattered in the west of Ireland.
“I got a message from Jerry’s daughter saying Jerry had passed away and would it be okay to send over some of his ashes to Ireland, because he had always wanted to come to Ireland,” said Deirdre.
“She said they had always dreamed of coming to Ireland.
“I heard nothing for a while and then last weekend I got a text message from her saying, ‘Dad left yesterday and should be with you this week.’
“I was shocked, thinking we have ashes coming from America,” she continued.
“That night I was telling my friend and we planned the whole thing, she sings in the choir so she said she’d sing and we said we’d have a big Irish wake.
“Gerry loved Ireland and he loved the singing and the dancing and the drinking, I thought well, we’ll have to have a big Irish wake for him.”
Guiry’s, a local pub, will supply sandwiches for the wake and a local undertaker has offered his services.
“I’ve emailed Jerry’s daughter to ask for a few lines about her father,” Deirdre said.
“We’ll take photos and a video and send them back to his family in the States so they can see the ceremony.
“Here in Foxford, we have the lake, the river, the mountains and the beach.
“The whole village is talking about it,” she added.