Northern Ireland

Body of west Belfast woman recovered from sea in Co Donegal

Gardaí in Kerrykeel, assisted by Coastguard, Mountain Rescue, the Coastguard Helicopter, the RNLI rescue boat and local people carried out a search in relation to a missing woman

The late Sally Reilly whose funeral takes place on Saturday.
A funeral service will take place for Sally Reilly on Saturday

The body of a west Belfast woman has been recovered from the sea off the coast of Portsalon in Co Donegal.

Sally Reilly (55), from Turf Lodge, was reported missing from Sandybanks Caravan Park in the seaside village on Bank Holiday Monday.

Gardaí and emergency services took part in the search for Mrs Reilly around lunchtime on Monday.

DMRT joined other emergency rescue personnel at the scene, including Malin Head Coastguard, Rescue 118, Lough Swilly RNLI and Mulroy Coastguard.

Following an extensive search the body of the mother-of-four, who had been living with dementia, was located later that night.

Mrs Reilly’s daughter, Niamh, told the Andersonstown News her parents had a caravan in Portsalon and had been visiting the area for 20 years.

She added: “We don’t know the exact circumstances yet, but she has left the caravan in the early hours of the morning and went down to the water.

“The whole community down there was out searching for her. Their support was amazing, and I don’t know how I can thank them enough.

“My heart is broke. She will be missed so much.

“She had a big contagious laugh. She was always laughing, even when she had dementia.”

A Garda spokesperson said: “Gardaí in Kerrykeel, assisted by Coast Guard, Mountain Rescue, the Coast Guard Helicopter, the RNLI rescue boat and local people carried out a search in relation to a missing woman.

“A body of a woman was recovered from the water at approximately 9pm on Monday evening, May 27, 2024.

“The body was removed to Letterkenny University Hospital where a post mortem will be conducted in due course and a file prepared for the Coroners Court.”

In her funeral notice Mrs Reilly is described as the dearly beloved wife of Stephen, much loved daughter of Jeannie and the late Robert McConnell, loving mother of Barry, Emma, Niamh and Síona, grandmother to Kaiden, Grace and Aaron.

Requiem Mass will take place in Holy Trinity Church, Norglen Gardens, Belfast, at 10am on Saturday, with a service to follow at Roselawn Crematorium after.