Over €30,000 raised to bring tragic GAA player David Houlihan home
A fundraiser with an initial target of €1000 to help bring an Irish drowning victim home from Thailand has raised over €30,000 in total.
David Houlihan (24) went missing on Monday night in Thailand on the way to his hotel in Koh Samui.
The Waterford man was backpacking in the popular tourist spot as part of an extended trip, en route to visit friends in Australia.
Family friend Mary Fitzpatrick set up a YouCaring fundraising page 'Helping to bring David home' following the tragedy with an initial target of €1,000.
However, the campaign successfully raised €30,826 and gathered over 1,000 supporters before it was closed last night.
The fundraiser, which has been shared over 4,500 times on Facebook, was set up to "help the lads at this time".
David's two older brothers Paul and Adam travelled from Dungarvan on Wednesday to bring their brother home while the youngest sibling Johnathan (14) remained at home. Another brother Patrick is currently in the US.
This is the third time the Houlihan brothers have faced heartbreaking tragedy. Their mother Bernie passed away in 2011 after a battle with cancer - seven years after their father John had died of a heart attack.
A keen GAA player, David lined out for his club Dungarvan last Friday before departing on Sunday, scoring a point in a championship match.
Chairman Tony Ryan described David as a tremendous clubman who was well-liked around the community.
"He left on Sunday to go over to see some very good friends he has in Australia. He had a huge range of great friends from within our club, our rival clubs and everywhere," said Mr Ryan. "David was very well liked."
Tipperary's Lar Corbett and Paddy Stapleton, Tony Browne of Waterford and Galway's Kieran Joyce are among those to have promoted the fundraising page on Twitter.