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Sutton community brought to a standstill by traveller funeral
6:00pm Tuesday 15th January 2013 in News
HUNDREDS of mourners descended on a community for the funeral of a young traveller who was found dead at his home last month.
A convoy of vehicles rolled into Sutton on Tuesday morning as crowds gathered at St Anne’s and Blessed Dominic Church to remember Thomas Mongan, 26.
Mr Mongan was found dead at an address on Telford Drive, Sutton on December 23.
Monastery Lane and surrounding streets were lined with up to 60 vehicles, including cars and vans.
A substantial police presence was stationed in Sutton to monitor potential disruption.
Two horse-drawn carriages were followed by ten huge Hummer cars, large enough to accommodate at least 15 people, as they drove slowly through Sutton Village.
The size of the funeral and influx of visitors in large vehicles created tensions in the community.
Some neighbours, who asked not to be named, voiced concerns that they were asked to take their children into St Anne’s Primary School, on Monastery Lane, Sutton, earlier than normal on Tuesday morning.
It is believed that others chose to keep their children away from school altogether in the morning because of the event.
Others claimed that the volume of traffic on roads nearby the church could have prevented access if needed by the emergency services.
One resident said: “If there had been a fire at a house or at the primary school someone could have been killed.
“I asked a police officer what would happen if a fire broke out or someone had a heart attack and he replied: ‘Good question’.
Another was unhappy at the amount of police needed to monitor the funeral, adding: “People round here are saying enough is enough. Effectively we are paying to babysit them.”
Businesses, including some pubs in Sutton, kept their doors closed.
Following the service, the cortege went through St Helens and towards Warrington and later Preston for burial.
An inquest into Mr Mongan’s death will take place at a later date.