Donegal man who died of Covid-19 remembered for ‘many good deeds’, funeral Mass hears

Joe McCarron was encouraged to leave hospital, against medical advice, by anti-vaccination campaigners

Joe McCarron was a former radio DJ and more recently he was a carer to his wife of 38 years, Una.

Joe McCarron was a former radio DJ and more recently he was a carer to his wife of 38 years, Una.


The late Joe McCarron will be remembered, treasured and loved, mourners heard at his funeral Mass on Sunday.

The 67-year-old Donegal man, who died from Covid-19, was laid to rest in his hometown of Dungloe.

His funeral Mass heard of the fragility of life, and of the heartache and loss suffered by his family and friends.

Father Eddie Gallagher told mourners: “This is a very sad day, and we think of the bereaved who are broken-hearted on this day.”

“The best gift, the only gift, we can give to Joe McCarron today is our prayers.”

Mr McCarron was a Covid-19 patient at Letterkenny University Hospital.

On Tuesday, September 14th, he was encouraged to leave the hospital, against medical advice, when anti-vaccination campaigners claimed he was being forced into intensive care.

Mr McCarron was readmitted to hospital two days later. He was subsequently placed on a ventilator, but his condition deteriorated and he died on Friday.

“The person who will miss Joe most of all is his wife Una,” said Fr Gallagher. “We offer our prayers and sympathy to Una who today is widowed and broken-hearted.”

Mr McCarron, born in 1954, was a former radio DJ who was well-known in Dungloe. More recently, he was a carer to his wife of 38 years, Una.

A special welcome was given to Mr McCarron’s friends at the Mass, especially those in the AA fellowship.

“He was a very long time in the AA fraternity, and some are here today to remember Joe and honour his memory,” Fr Gallagher said.

Prayers were said for the doctors and nurses who helped Mr McCarron and worked with him in Letterkenny University Hospital.

Fr Gallagher said: “I am sure like a lot of us, he had good days and difficult days. Life can be a bumpy road. I’m sure Joe had many good days and did many good deeds, especially in AA.

“I’m sure, like us all, he made mistakes. We ask God today to reward him for his good works and forgive him for any wrong he may have done.”

“We don’t have any guarantee that life will be a long journey,” said Fr Gallagher.

“Joe was just 67 years of age. We don’t know how long our journey will take. We are not guaranteed tomorrow.”

Mr McCarron was laid to rest in the nearby Maghery Cemetery.

The Donegal man’s illness made headlines nationally and internationally when video footage of him discharging himself from hospital was posted online and went viral.

A family spokesman said after he returned to hospital that Mr McCarron’s wife Una wanted to apologise to hospital staff for what had happened and criticised those who helped remove him from hospital as “reckless.”

“They did not help Joe’s recovery in any way. We would encourage everyone to follow proper medical advice,” he said.

Mr McCarron’s case is one of a number of incidents relating to activists attempting to spread disinformation about Covid-19 at Irish hospitals.

The Saolta Hospital Group has expressed “grave concerns” about the impact of Covid-19 denying activists on staff and patients.

Gardaí have appointed a senior investigating officer to oversee an investigation into recent incidents at Letterkenny University Hospital.