The Awake Undertaker

Dan Astin-Gregory talks with John O’Looney of Milton Keynes Family Funeral Services, about what he’s experienced in his role as Undertaker in the last 18 months. [The conversation starts at 00:25]

My guest today is a funeral director with 15 years’ industry experience, who has been running his own family business in Milton Keynes for the last five years. Because of all he has seen over the last 18 months, John O’Looney is now prepared to take the potential hit on his business by speaking up.

While other funeral directors have refused to wash and dress the deceased, John has continued to provide this service even for those listed as dying from Covid-19. At 53, suffering from asthma, and unable to obtain PPE at the height of the pandemic, John should have been in a vulnerable position. However, he has yet to suffer any consequences from continuing to provide this key service so many families have been denied.

In a YouTube comment that has gone viral despite his account being removed, John said: ‘Last year the death rate was totally normal. In fact, it was a little bit down on 2019 and towards Christmas many of my colleagues were actually turning their fridges off because there was no-one dying. We began vaccinating on January 6 locally and the death rate went through the roof almost immediately — within the same week, and for three months. I’ve never known a death rate like it in 15 years as an undertaker.’

Join me today at 5pm BST when I will be finding out much more about John’s experiences since the start of the pandemic, and what he believes lies behind what he says is a clearly inflated death rate.

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