Man whose remains lay undiscovered for 10 years to get family burial

Stephen Corrigan identified through DNA sample given by late mother after relatives found

Stephen Corrigan’s remains were found off Lower Rathmines Road in Dublin

Stephen Corrigan’s remains were found off Lower Rathmines Road in Dublin

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A man whose remains lay undiscovered on public ground in south Dublin for almost a decade will receive a family burial after his distant relatives were traced.

The skeletal remains of Stephen Corrigan, who suffered from mental illness and had been homeless at times due to his condition, were discovered in April on a site off the Lower Rathmines Road, at Lissenfield. No effort had been made to conceal the remains, which were found by men carrying out work in the area, and foul play was ruled out.

The dead man’s mother, Hanna ‘Anna’ Corrigan, died aged 81 in November 2015, not knowing what had happened to her son, who went missing in November 2011, when he was 47.

However, she gave the Garda a sample of her DNA before she died and when the remains were discovered they were confirmed as those of her son.

Mr Corrigan’s only known relatives when he died were his late mother and brother Edward, who was six years younger and who died in 2016 aged 46. A Garda appeal for other relatives to come forward was not successful.

However, Finders International, a professional probate genealogist firm, saw the Garda appeal and made its own pro bono checks. The company’s trawl quickly determined Mr Corrigan had a large number of relatives, though they had never met and were unaware of his existence.

Fr Brendan Corrigan, the parish priest in Kilbeggan, Co Westmeath, is a first cousin of Mr Corrigan’s mother and he told The Irish Times he was surprised when contacted about the case.

“Our wish now is that Stephen would be buried with his mother and his brother,” Fr Corrigan said.

He understood the Dublin City Coroner’s office would release the remains to the extended family for burial with his mother and brother once their grave in Dublin was identified.

He added Hanna Corrigan was of an older generation to most of the wider family and was not well known or closely linked to them. He believed Ms Corrigan and her sons had lived around the North Circular Road area of Dublin.

At the time he went missing Mr Corrigan was a patient at The Weir Home on Cork Street, a residence where nursing and psychiatric care is provided for men. Residents can come and go as they please and Mr Corrigan failed to return there on the day he went missing.