Tuesday 17 October 2017

'To lose a father and a son all in one go is just too much' - Family comfort daughter (12) and mother Ann as search for Barry Jnr (21) continues

Independent.ie Newsdesk

Independent.ie Newsdesk

A cousin of the family at the centre of the west Cork drowning tragedy has said that the walking group's sole survivor is "in an awful bad way".

The young girl (12) ran for help when her father and brother attempted to save her brother's girlfriend who was swept out to sea by a freak wave near Baltimore Harbour.

Barry Davis Ryan
Barry Davis Ryan
Barry Ryan senior who tragically drowned off Baltimore, Co. Cork, on Tuesday evening.

Barry Ryan Snr (51) and 21-year-old Barry Davis Ryan lost their lives while attempting to rescue Niamh O'Connor (20) on Tuesday evening.

While the remains of Barry Snr and Ms O'Connor were recovered immediately, the young girl and mother Ann are "heartbroken" waiting for young Barry's body to be found.

Read more: Weather threat to search operation

"[The young girl] and Ann are just in a daze, it's every family's nightmare and they're just in absolute disbelief if I'm honest," cousin Jean Hegarty told the Irish Daily Mirror. 

"To lose a husband and son, a father and a brother all in one go is just too much. And then that lovely girl Niamh. My heart is just broke."

Friends and family have rallied around the two, staying with them "round the clock" while the search efforts continue.

Niamh O'Connor who tragically drowned off Baltimore, co. Cork.
Niamh O'Connor who tragically drowned off Baltimore, co. Cork.

Read more: Fishing village shocked by triple tragedy on coast walk

"We can't do anything. I mean, what can anyone do except be there and comfort them and wait. It hasn't sunk in yet and it's worse still that Barry's body is still out there," she told the paper.

Emergency services, Irish Coastguard and the RNLI pictured near Baltimore, Co. Cork (Photo: Paul Cunningham/Provision)
Emergency services, Irish Coastguard and the RNLI pictured near Baltimore, Co. Cork (Photo: Paul Cunningham/Provision)
Emergency services, Irish Coastguard and the RNLI pictured near Baltimore, Co. Cork (Photo: Paul Cunningham/Provision)

The taxi driver revealed that she had regularly driven a number of Egyptian fishermen who tragically drowned when their fishing trawler sank off Cork's Union Hall.

Surviving brother Mohammed Add Elgwad text his condolences to Jean on learning of her own "heartache of loss at sea".  

The Davis and Ryan family are hoping to recover Barry Jnr's remains "sooner rather than later" so he can be laid to rest with his father, son of Penneys founder Arthur.

Meanwhile UCC student Niamh will be laid to rest tomorrow following funeral mass at The Sacred Heart Church, Glounthaune, Co Cork.  

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