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Friday 24 February 2017

Body of drowned man to be flown home

Ralph Riegel

Ralph Riegel

THE body of an Irishman who died in a Moroccan drowning tragedy is expected to be flown home this weekend.

Alan Buckley (35) from Tivoli in Cork drowned last Friday in a freak accident while on holiday in Morocco.

Desperate efforts to save him failed after he apparently got into difficulty while swimming and was unable to reach safety.

The Department of Foreign Affairs and Ireland's honorary consul to Morocco are both assisting the Buckley family over the repatriation details.

Mr Buckley -- a keen GAA player -- had flown to the north African country with some friends for a winter holiday and to celebrate the New Year.

Precise details of the tragedy have not emerged but Moroccan police are treating the incident as an accident.

Morocco has emerged as a popular winter sun destination for Irish holidaymakers over the past decade.

The Buckley family operate a number of successful pubs in Cork city and rank as one of the city's best known business families.

Their current operations include The Marina Bar -- with Mr Buckley's father, Declan, having previously operated The Bailey, The Courthouse and the popular Ovens Bar on Oliver Plunkett Street.

Dedication

Alan Buckley helped run the Viscount Bar in Bishopstown.

He played football with Kilmurray GAA Club and hurling with Cloughduv GAA club.

Mr Buckley played in a match just three weeks ago -- and was hailed by both clubs for his dedication to training and commitment to competitions.

Kilmurray GAA chairman Ted Hartnett described Mr Buckley as a true stalwart of the club and a player willing to drive to Cork from Dublin if required for a match.

Cloughduv GAA chairman Denis O'Leary said the entire club was left reeling by the shocking news of Mr Buckley's death.

"Alan was an absolutely fabulous club man -- he was the kind of guy you could always depend on. He was on the team that contested the junior A mid-Cork final a fortnight ago -- it is a tragic loss and he will be very sorely missed," he said.

Friends said they were deeply shocked by the tragic accident. "No one can believe it -- when I heard about it on Sunday I thought there had to be some kind of mistake and that it couldn't be Alan," one friend said.

Full details of Mr Buckley's funeral arrangements are expected to be confirmed later this week.

Irish Independent

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