Body of tragic soldier swept out to sea is recovered
Published 29/08/2016 | 02:30
Tributes have been paid to a missing soldier whose body was recovered off the Donegal coast by divers.
The body of Corporal Gavin Carey, a father of one who served at Custume Barracks in Athlone, was discovered yesterday morning by divers of the voluntary organisation Boyne Fishermen's Rescue and Recovery Service.
Cpl Carey went missing last Tuesday after he got into difficulty while swimming.
He had been swimming with two other members of the Defence Forces in the seaside town of Bundoran when he was caught by a strong current and swept out to sea.
Cpl Carey had been attending a military first responders course at the nearby Finner Camp. He was due to be deployed to South Lebanon with the 109th Infantry Battalion in November.
Taoiseach Enda Kenny led tributes to the solider on the behalf of the Government last night. "I want to express my sincere condolences and sympathy to the family of Corporal Gavin Carey following his tragic death," said Mr Kenny.
"Gavin served his country with pride and in the unheralded manner he and all his colleagues go about their business.
"At the time of his death, he was in the process of completing a training course prior to his scheduled deployment overseas, to Lebanon - a further reminder of the duties soldiers undertake on all our behalves."
Mr Kenny also extended his sympathies to Cpl Carey's colleagues.
Defence Forces Chief of Staff Vice Admiral Mark Mellett also offered his condolences to the corporal's family. He said: "As a soldier, he espoused the values we as an organisation hold dear. I would like to thank each of the agencies that helped with the search."
Keith O'Donnell, of the Boyne Fishermen's Rescue service, said conditions were favourable during yesterday's search.
"It is a tragic situation for the family, but they can now start to grieve. Our thoughts are with Cpl Carey's family and friends," Mr O'Donnell said.
Nearly 100 soldiers joined the search over the last week since the 28-year-old went missing.
Teams from the Malin Head Coast Guard, Killybegs, Ballyblass, Killala and Bundoran RNLI were also involved in the search. The Air Corps and local diving clubs in the area also joined the search effort.
The body of Cpl Carey was transported to Sligo University Hospital for formal identification. The soldier's next of kin were informed and they were yesterday being assisted by the Defence Forces personnel support services.