Ireland's first online memorial site continues the tradition of the Irish wake


IRISH WAKES have gone online. Ireland’s first online memorial site, launched in recent weeks, offers families and friends of dead people an opportunity to record the life stories and their memories of loved ones in words, pictures and video.

The site is the brainchild of business partners Hugh O’Donnell and Joe McGuiggan.

Contributors can tell the story of their nearest and dearest by uploading anecdotes, shared memories, photos, music and video clips.

Mr O’Donnell, a restaurant and bar owner in Killybegs, Co Donegal, said: “The site continues online the tradition of the Irish wake where stories are told and memories shared.”

Co-director Mr McGuiggan, a Derry-based Library Service Executive, said: “Irish people have a strong love for remembering their dead as seen by attendance at wakes, putting memorials into newspapers and by sending out memorial cards.

“They now have the opportunity to tell the life story of their loved one in a very visual and interactive way, and record it for future generations to appreciate.”

The website allows the person who creates the tribute to have editorial control of all shared memories which come in from friends and family. Nothing can be added without being screened by the tribute controller. One of the first tributes on the site commemorates the life of Killybegs fisherman Noble Morrow, a father of four who died in 1986 at the age of 39.

His brother Norman uploaded this memory: “On one occasion, he came off his motorbike on the way back from the shop. While our parents fretted over his cut knee and what might have happened, all that bothered Noble was that I didn’t open the Coke until it had settled after bouncing all over the road.

“Coming off the bike was history, drinking the Coke was more important. Noble was talented in many ways but I suppose Noble’s greatest gift was that he never had a bad word to say about anyone.

“Wherever he is now, I’m sure the front yard is cluttered with bits of engines, a few buoys, a few battered air tanks and the compressor will be humming away doing its job!

“Noble, we miss you.”

Anne Keeney-Amir who lives in New York was devastated on hearing of the sudden death of her sister Bernie in Killybegs in 2005.

“When a friend submits a photo I have never seen before or a shared memory I hadn’t heard about,” she said, “I feel I am part of a community that remembers what a wonderful person my sister was.” The website can be visited at