Republic of Ireland news

Drowning victim's funeral takes place on Arranmore Island

Daire Conlon (18) died after getting into difficulties while swimming on Monday.

HUNDREDS of friends and relatives packed the grounds of St Crone's church on Arranmore island for the funeral of teenage drowning victim Daire Conlon.

The 18-year-old islander drowned while swimming with a friend at Leabgarrow Beach on the Donegal island on Monday.

In a poignant moment during yesterday's Requiem Mass, a football was brought to the altar to represent the victim's love of sport and football in particular. A sixth year student at Cairmscoil Mhic Dhiarmada, he was due to sit his Leaving Certificate exams this year.

Fr John Boyce noted the large numbers who joined Requiem Mass, in the church, in the grounds and through the webcam broadcast. He recalled Mr Conlon's short life and paid tribute to all those who had helped the victim's family since the tragedy.

He also led prayers for emergency services who tried in vain to save Mr Conlon, in particular the island lifeboat crew and local paramedics. Among the many tributes paid to the teenager, was a particularly emotional one from his teachers who described him as a “gentle soul”.

Following Requiem Mass, Mr Conlon was laid to rest in adjoining graveyard.

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Republic of Ireland news