Tributes paid to Irishman in Thai drowning tragedy
Published 09/07/2015 | 02:30
A family have suffered a third tragedy after their 24-year-old brother drowned in Thailand.
David Houlihan from Dungarvan, Co Waterford, went missing on Monday night in Thailand, where he had stopped on the way to visit friends in Australia for an extended holiday.
He vanished on the way to his hotel in Koh Samui.
His siblings were notified yesterday morning that his body had been found.
They had suffered the loss of their mother Bernie in 2011 after a battle with cancer. Seven years earlier, their father John passed away following a heart attack.
His brothers Paul and Adam made arrangements to travel to Thailand yesterday to bring their brother home.
Another brother Patrick is in the US, while the youngest sibling Johnathan (14) remained at home.
The Department of Foreign Affairs is providing consular assistance. 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."
Team-mates last night gathered to pay their respects to David, who captained the under-21 football team when they won the county's western championship the year his mother died.
"It is very difficult for the family and we as a club want to pay tribute to him, especially after the family has already suffered bereavements," Mr Ryan added.
"David was a great sportsman. He played football and hurling with us and will be a huge loss to the area. He played soccer with Lismore and had recently taken up golf.
"We were very proud of him."