For many people, their favorite pub is a place of fun and solace – somewhere to reliably go for a friendly word, a good drink, the craic and a few laughs.
One Irish American woman got her wish to make her favorite Irish pub her final resting place.
Carole O’Connor Brown, who was passionate about Ireland and her Irish heritage, used to bring groups over to Ireland. When she did, The Laurels pub in Killarney, Co. Kerry, was always a favorite spot.
When Carole passed away 15 years ago, her sister, Maureen O’Connor Purcell, journeyed to Ireland to sprinkle Carole’s ashes in all of her favorite locations. But since The Laurels was Carole’s favorite, her family asked if it could become her final resting place.
Con O’Leary, proprietor of The Laurels, agreed, and Carole’s ashes have remained there these past 15 years, Maureen told IrishCentral, in a small pot with Carole's picture on the bottom and a map of Ireland on the cover.
Her ashes sit on a shelf behind the bar – usually near the Jameson – but the container is sometimes taken out into the hubbub as visitors chat and take photos with the remains of The Laurels’ most loyal patron.
Maureen, who is returning to Ireland in September for the first time since Carole’s death, told IrishCentral she is overjoyed to be making the journey.
“This will be my fifteenth trip to Ireland but my husband's first time over. I can't believe it has been 15 years since I have been back!” she said. “Carole and I use to bring bus loads over and also come with just 3-4 at a time. She adored Ireland and her ashes are sprinkled all over in her favorite spots, but The Laurels is where we formally laid her to rest.”
Maureen said that for the past fifteen years, “scads of US visitors have gone (at our recommendation) to have a drink with [Carole] and to spin a yarn with the proprietor, Con O'Leary. Most report it is a highlight of their trip to Eire (and that includes people that never knew her but have just heard about her ashes!).”
Would you want to spend eternity in your favorite Irish pub, or in any spot in Ireland? Share your thoughts in the comment section, below.