Woman 'heartbroken' as parents ashes lost with luggage en route to Dublin

Donna O'Connor arrived from Chicago via Toronto and planned to scatter her parents ashes in Co Mayo
Jack Quann
Jack Quann

16.21 12 Jul 2022

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Woman 'heartbroken' as parents...

Woman 'heartbroken' as parents ashes lost with luggage en route to Dublin

Jack Quann
Jack Quann

16.21 12 Jul 2022

Share this article

An American woman says she's 'heartbroken' after her luggage went missing on the way to Dublin, with her parents ashes in it.

Donna O'Connor arrived from Chicago via Toronto on June 30th, and had planned to scatter the remains of her Irish-American parents in Co Mayo.

Instead, she has spent her time here in a desperate bid to locate her baggage.


Donna told Lunchtime Live this was important to her parents.

"I came to Dublin on June 30th and waited for more than three hours to see if my bag would come out.

"It has everything that I need for the next three months, and longer perhaps, if I can get a passport.

"But most important is my parents ashes are in there.

"I waited the three and a half hours - nothing - I filed a claim with a company that Air Canada contracts with.

"I went to the place I was staying and started calling and emailing Air Canada".

'I'm desperate'

Donna says her cat was her one piece of carry-on luggage, which is why her case was in the hold.

"I landed in Dublin and have been here with just the clothes on my back, my cat and my documents.

"Finally after three days I went to Penneys... and bought some things for myself.

"But I'm still heartbroken that my parents ashes are in my luggage, and I have a few other things of sentimental value in my luggage as well.

"My family is 100% Irish in our ancestry, and it's been an important part of our family all along."

Donna says she got a reply from the airline, but not the one she wanted.

"I'd nothing until yesterday from Air Canada: I got a voicemail saying my baggage was being sent to my house in Illinois, which they hope is the right place.

"And I tried to call the number back and say 'I'm in Ireland, I need the baggage in Ireland'.

"I just got a recording that no one was available to talk - and I called my home, and they've seen nothing of the luggage.

"So I'm desperate to find out where this luggage is".

'I still intend to go west'

Donna says her family hails from Mayo.

"My great-grandparents came from Castlebar to the United States, and then my grandparents taught my parents and myself to stay close to our Irish heritage and our Irish Catholicism.

"My one grandmother, her maiden was Lynch, she would say: 'Don't be the one to break the thread - this goes hundreds and hundreds of years for us - hold this dear to your heart'.

"When my father passed away, part of his wake was in Irish - it's just something that means the world to us".

She adds: "I still intend to go west, but I would like to go west with my parents ashes in-hand".

Main image: Composite image shows a woman with an urn on a cliff overlooking the ocean in June 2018, and an Air Canada plane in July 2017. Picture by: Hero Images Inc/Takatoshi Kurikawa/Alamy Stock Photo

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