THE mother of a young man missing for almost two months has said she is heartbroken after his body was recovered from the sea.
Mary Byrne said clothing found on the body has been identified as that belonging to her 24-year-old son Paul Byrne who vanished in the early hours of Christmas morning.
Mr Byrne's body was found by fishermen in the sea around nine miles east of Skerries, Co Dublin.
Mrs Byrne said the family were awaiting DNA test results to confirm 100pc that it is Paul.
However, she said that the clothing on the body matched exactly what he was wearing when he went missing.
"It was the worst news to get, but the only good thing is that we found him. I'm waiting to bring him home.
"For eight weeks, every single day it has been tormenting me. All I could think was 'I have to find him'. As each week went by, it was all about finding him," she said.
Paul was last seen by his housemates in Rush, Co Dublin, in the early hours of Christmas morning. He was due to celebrate his 25th birthday on New Year's Eve with his mother and his siblings, Stephen (29) and Suzanne (27).
As the days and then weeks passed with no sign of Paul, Mrs Byrne said she realised he was unlikely to come home to her alive. However, she held out hope that his body might be found and returned to her.
Extensive searches of the coastline and the sea were carried out by members of the Coast Guard and Civil Defence.
However, the crew of the trawler Nausicaa discovered the young man's body as they hauled in their nets on Friday.
He was taken to James Connolly Memorial Hospital in Blanchardstown where a post-mortem was due to take place.
His family are now making preparations for his funeral.