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Monday 5 December 2016

Newlywed Irish couple drown in honeymoon idyll

Lesley-Anne McKeown, Emma Jane Hade and Pat Flynn

Published 26/10/2015 | 02:30

John and Lynette Rodgers from Co Down, who drowned on their honeymoon. Photo: Caroline Smyth Photography
John and Lynette Rodgers from Co Down, who drowned on their honeymoon. Photo: Caroline Smyth Photography

The families of a newlywed couple who drowned while on honeymoon in South Africa have spoken of their shock and sorrow at the tragedy.

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John Rodgers (28) and his wife Lynette (26), from Holywood, Co Down, died after getting caught in a rip tide at Plettenberg Bay - just six days after walking down the aisle.

In a joint statement their families said they had been left devastated.

"It has come as a great shock to both the Reilly and Rodgers families to learn of the sudden and tragic events in South Africa, which have taken the lives of Lynette and John.

"Our happiness in sharing their recent wedding has been thoroughly devastated. Both were very dearly loved and brought us great joy."

The body of Mr Rodgers was discovered in shallow surf on Robberg Beach by a local man at around 6pm on Friday. His wife's body was found around 200 metres further along the same beach.

Physiotherapist Lynette and office worker John tied the knot at the First Presbyterian Church in Holywood on October 17.

In a message posted on her Facebook account, Mrs Rodgers conveyed her excitement ahead of her South African adventure.

She wrote: "John and myself would like to thank... everyone that joined us on Saturday and for all the well wishes! We greatly appreciate it and had the best day ever."

Tragically, she added: "Heading off today so will speak to everyone when we return! Xx"

Meanwhile, a widow (85) who died after a fire broke out in her home has been described as a "woman of great faith" who was "greatly loved".

The woman, named locally as Bridie Uí Chíobháin, died after a blaze broke out in her home in Ballyferriter, Co Kerry, shortly after 9pm on Saturday.

Ballyferriter parish priest Fr Eugene Kiely attended the scene of the fire, which gardaí say they are not treating as suspicious.

"She was a wonderful lady, a woman of great faith and she was greatly loved. She will be greatly missed by her family, neighbours, friends and relatives," said Fr Kiely last night.

Ms Uí Chiobháin had five children and was pre-deceased by her husband Ger, a writer.

Elsewhere, gardaí are investigating the discovery of a body washed up at Fanore in Co Clare yesterday.

The body, believed to be that of a man in his late 30s, was found by a person out walking on the shore south of the main beach at Fanore.

It is believed the body had sustained injuries consistent with a fall from a height, possibly a cliff. The body is also believed to have been in the water for several days.

While no one has been reported missing in the Clare area, gardaí in Ennistymon are investigating whether there may be a link between the discovery and a car found parked at Liscannor late last week.

Irish Independent

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