Tragic Barry hailed as a 'hero willing to die for true love'
Published 14/07/2015 | 02:30
A young man whose body was recovered from the sea after 11 days was hailed as a hero for sacrificing his life for true love.
In a special message read out at the Requiem Mass of Barry Davis Ryan (20), on behalf of his mother Ann, he was described as a hero just like his father Barry Snr (51).
Both father and son drowned on June 30 off Baltimore in west Cork in a desperate but doomed bid to save Mr Davis Ryan's girlfriend, 20-year-old Niamh O'Connor.
The duo are the son and grandson of Penneys founder Arthur Ryan (80).
Ms O'Connor was swept into the sea by a freak wave.
Mr Ryan Snr and Ms O'Connor were recovered within minutes.
However, the body of Mr Davis Ryan was found only after a huge dive operation.
His uncle, Danny Kelly, read out a special tribute: "He loved his soulmate, the beautiful Niamh, with all his heart. And he selflessly died trying to save her.
"Barry, just like his father, was a hero, who, without hesitation, was willing to die for love. Barry found his true love when he met Niamh . . . they are now together forever."
Barry's sister Charlotte read out a poem, 'My Little Wizard Chap', written by her father for Barry in 2000.
The Ryan and Davis families also said they "will never forget the honest and welcome look on (diver) John Kearney's face when Barry's body was finally returned to us".