26 December 2005

Mystery man baffles US

Belfast Telegraph

Deceased said he was Sean Angus Donnelly of Omagh

By Ben Lowry
26 December 2005

A Kentucky coroner has made a fresh appeal for help in identifying a man, believed to be from Northern Ireland, who was buried as a pauper.

Hopes that the mystery man, who is thought to have been living under an assumed identity, would be named by Christmas failed.

The man had told his partner, who lived with him in Louisville for the last two years of his life, that his name was Sean Angus Donnelly, and that he was aged 45, but she never saw documentation to this effect.

The man told her that he was an Irish nationalist from Omagh who had been shot at one of the Army checkpoints in Belfast, but she never met relatives of his or heard him talking to them.

The dead man lay embalmed for a month after he died of natural causes on October 29.

He was then buried in a pauper's grave at the end of November because no next of kin had been located. The service was only attended by a number of staff from the coroner's office.

The Deputy Coroner for Jefferson County, Jo Ann Farmer, has now appealed for someone in the PSNI to get in touch.

"At this time of year, we find it very sad to bury someone with no-one who knows him there, particularly when there is a good chance that he has family somewhere," she said,

Ms Farmer added: "We can't find anything on him. I wonder if someone from the police department there could contact us. I suspect he has probably been arrested and has spent time there (Northern Ireland).

"If someone from the police department contacts me, then we will try to get them a copy of the fingerprints and then maybe we will be able to make a positive identification."

The Belfast Telegraph has been passed this picture of Mr Donnelly by Jefferson County Coroner's Office as part of the bid to identify him.

The man was around 6ft tall, spoke with a "thick" Irish accent and had a Playboy tattoo on his left arm.

Ms Farmer can be contacted by telephone on (00 1) 502 777 87 16.

Greetings for X'Mas & New Year
Thank you - and to you as well.
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