Northern Ireland news

Rebel cleric Pat Buckley presides at funeral of 107-year-old Peggy Dunbar

Self-styled Bishop Pat Buckley presided at the funeral of 107-year-old Peggy Dunbar in keeping with her last wishes. Picture by Justin Kernoghan
John Monaghan

THE funeral has taken place of a Co Antrim woman who has died at the age of 107.

Peggy Dunbar, who was thought to be the oldest person in Northern Ireland, was buried yesterday at Victoria Cemetery in Carrickfergus.

The service was conducted by self-styled Bishop Pat Buckley in keeping with Mrs Dunbar's final wishes.

Before the funeral her body lay in rest at Bishop Buckley's church, the Oratory, in Larne.

Mrs Dunbar, a Presbyterian, was born on February 20, 1909.

She formed an unlikely friendship with the former priest after he performed her daughter's wedding more than 25 years ago.

She died of pneumonia last Tuesday, six days before she would have turned 108.

Born Peggy Melville she grew up in Belfast and later moved to Ballyclare after she was married.

Bishop Buckley said he was "honoured" to have been asked to bury Peggy.

"In a narrow Northern Ireland, she has made a quiet, simple gesture of non-sectarianism. Without making any great noises, Peggy embodied the spirit of reconciliation in life and in death."

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Northern Ireland news