Popular ex-Wigan Council worker remembered with memorial bench

Former councillor Nathan Murray with the bench in memory of ex-Wigan Council employee Kevin Mulkeen
Former councillor Nathan Murray with the bench in memory of ex-Wigan Council employee Kevin Mulkeen

A popular ex-Wigan Council worker who died aged just 50 has been remembered with a memorial bench in a borough park.

The tribute to Kevin Mulkeen, who worked for decades as a street cleaner at the town hall, was unveiled at Jubilee Park in Ashton.

Kevin Mulkeen

Kevin Mulkeen

Mr Mulkeen, who died in August 2005, was a well-known figure who spent his working life keeping the town centre spick and span and the memorial bench stemmed from how well-loved he was by local residents.

The administrators of local history group Old Pictures of Ashton in Makerfield presented former councillor Nathan Murray with a collection of hundreds of positive comments remembering Mr Mulkeen when he was in the chamber for Bryn ward.

After a conversation with Mr Mulkeen’s family it was decided Jubilee Park would be the right place for the bench as he lived near the green space and loved the flower displays.

A family statement read: “As members of Kevin’s family, and extended family, we are all very pleased and proud that his work commitment and love of Ashton-in-Makerfield and its people has been recognised with the erection of this bench in Jubilee Park in remembrance of him.

“Our thanks to all who have helped to facilitate this lasting honour to Kevin.”

Mr Murray said: “The bench looks fantastic and the setting is very fitting; it is an area that we know Kevin loved and enjoyed.

“I feel very honoured to have played a role in helping Kevin’s memory live on through this memorial.

“I would like to place on record my thanks to Kevin’s family as well as the administrators of Old Pictures of Ashton-in-Makerfield and the Wigan Council staff who have helped make this possible.”

Mr Mulkeen had to battle disabilities all his life but was known for his hard work ethic and his genial, polite manner.

Mr Murray arranged for the bench to be installed when he was a councillor, allocating Brighter Borough money to it and liaising with the green spaces and memorials departments at the town hall.

The memorial bench was originally going to be placed in Ashton town centre before it was decided the park, which has been awarded the Green Flag, was a better location.

Mr Mulkeen’s relatives came up with the inscription on the wooden seat, which says: “In memory of Kevin Mulkeen” and describes him as: “A good friend of Ashton” before giving the dates of his birth and death.

The bench is located close to the junction of Wigan Road and Osborne Road.