An 86 year old man from East Donegal has been officially declared dead by a court just a fortnight before his 87th birthday, which would have occurred on Christmas Eve.
At Donegal Circuit Court, Desmond Murphy QC/SC made an application to the court to officially declare Peter Edward Gallagher, formerly of Rooskey, Convoy deceased on behalf of his brother Charles Alphonsus Gallagher of 17, Ormonde Court, London SW15 6TW.
Consent for the application was also given by the missing man’s sister, Mary Bridget Gallagher, Rooskey, Convoy.
Mr. Murphy told the court that Peter Edward Gallagher was born Christmas Eve, 1927 and had left East Donegal in 1952 after a family row. It was established that he had been engaged in the building trade in London.
Mr. Murphy added that extensive efforts had been made to locate Mr. Gallagher using the Social Services, medical services, Church authorities, advertising in the media, the Aisling Centre and the extensive data base of the Salvation Army without success.
It was noted that he was last seen in Whitechapel in London in 1979.
He added, “It is the view of the Salvation Army that Mr. Gallagher (Peter) is now deceased.”
Granting the application, Judge John O’Hagan said that it was a very sad case; the tale of the “lost Irish” who emigrated never to be seen again.
Judge O’Hagan ruled that a total of 18.3 hectares of land in Rooskey, Convoy which had been in the name of Peter Edward Gallagher be transferred to his brother, Charles Alphonsus Gallagher.
The court was also told that there were no other surviving members of the family.