Northern Ireland

Funeral service to be held for Alan Whiteside after police confirm body found at Lough Neagh was that of Antrim man missing for nine weeks

The 33-year-old father-of-one had been missing since December 17

Alan Whiteside
A funeral service for Antrim's Alan Whiteside will be held on Friday.

The funeral of Antrim man Alan Whiteside is to take place later this week after his body was recovered from the shore of Lough Neagh.

The 33-year-old had been missing since he was last seen in the High Street area of Antrim on December 17.

The father-of-one was seen heading towards a path alongside the Six Mile Water River, which runs through Antrim town centre.

Search operations took place in the following weeks by police and groups including Lough Neagh Rescue and the Community Rescue Service (CRS).

On Sunday a CRS member found a body at a Lough Neagh shoreline, and it was confirmed to be that of Mr Whiteside following a post-mortem examination.

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PSNI Detective Inspector Lenaghan said: ”Our thoughts are with Alan’s family at this sad time and Alan’s mother, Pamela and his family, along with myself, would  like to thank our partner agencies, Community Rescue Service, Lough Neagh Rescue, SARDA IN, Skywatch and HMCG who have all worked tirelessly to help find Alan.

“We would also like to thank the public for all their huge assistance throughout this difficult time with searches and enquiries.”

SDLP Antrim councillor Roisin Lynch said: “I’d like to express my heartfelt condolences to the family and friends of Alan Whiteside, they have been through a terrible ordeal and I can’t imagine what they have been going through over these past few months.

“I’d like to pay tribute to Lough Neagh Rescue, all the search and rescue services and everyone who helped to look for Alan over the last few months following his disappearance. It’s a testament to the community spirit that exists in Antrim and the way that people look out for and support each other here.”

A death notice for Mr Whiteside described him as the “dearly beloved father of Cody, much loved son of Pamela and partner Robert”.

A Service of Thanksgiving will be held in Bairds Funeral Home in Antrim on Friday before a burial service at Belmont Cemetery.