Sunday the 28th of February

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Crowds flock to tiny island for funeral of Ireland’s last king

Ireland’s last king has been laid to rest by scores of people whose lives he touched.

Tory Island, off the coast of Co Donegal, was flooded with visitors for the funeral of its king, Patsy Dan Rodgers.

The musician and artist became the tiny settlement’s best-known resident, regularly greeting visitors off the ferry and campaigning on behalf of the island.

Flags on the island flew at half mast, while an extra ferry crossing was put on to accommodate the number of visitors travelling from across Ireland and also the United Kingdom to attend the funeral.

Many alighted the boat carrying bouquets of flowers and musical instruments.

The visitors included Colonel Liam Condon, Aide de Camp to the President of Ireland, Michael D Higgins.

There was a steady flow of people visiting Mr Rodgers’ distinctive house on the brow of a hill overlooking the main settlement on the island, where the gates read Teach An Ri, which translates as House of the King.

The funeral procession started from the house, led by one of his daughters carrying a cross ahead of her father’s coffin which was followed by more than 100 mourners for the short distance to St Colmcille’s Catholic Church.

Fr Sean Gallagher led the celebration of Requiem Mass, which was conducted in the Irish language and included musical tributes.

Following the service, Mr Rodgers was laid to rest in the church graveyard.

Mr Rodgers was born in Dublin, but was adopted and brought to the island as a young child.

He was asked to become King of Toraigh in the 1990s.

He died at the age of 74 on Friday 19th October at a hospital in Dublin following an illness.

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Picture: Ireland’s last king, Patsy Dan Rodgers, is buried in the grounds of St Colmcille’s Church on Tory Island, off the coast of Co Donegal. (Niall Carson/PA).