Monday 26 September 2016

Tributes to 'popular' Irishman (39) found dead in New Zealand

Finbarr Clabby's brother: 'Our shared sudden tragedy is made easier by the compassionate messages we've received'

Geraldine Gittens

Published 06/07/2015 | 09:15

Finbarr Clabby, who died on Sunday morning in New Zealand, local time.
Finbarr Clabby, who died on Sunday morning in New Zealand, local time.
Police say Finbarr Clabby's body was found at Wellington Harbour (pictured here) at 10.46am yesterday local time. (Photo: Google Maps)

Tributes have been paid to a 39-year-old Irishman who has been found dead in New Zealand.

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The body of Galway man Finbarr Clabby was found at Wellington Harbour at 10.46am yesterday local time.

Mr Clabby had been last seen at about 1am on Sunday morning local time, police say.

Finbarr's older brother Dan said he was a very popular man who had a wide network of friends in New Zealand.

Finbarr Clabby's body was found at Wellington Harbour at 10.46am yesterday local time
Finbarr Clabby's body was found at Wellington Harbour at 10.46am yesterday local time

“The Clabby family feel very comforted by the fact that he had so many loyal friends in New Zealand. By all acccounts he had so many friends in New Zealand, there are so many messsages coming through on Facebook about him."

"Our shared sudden tragedy is made easier by the compassion shown in sympathetic messages from home and abroad."

“He was very well known in the New Zealand/ Irish community. And he was on a soccer team as well,” Dan said.

Finbarr had attended the Super Rugby final in Wellington's Westpac stadium with a friend on the night before he was found dead.

“The night before he was found was a big rugby game, it was the rugby equivalent of the champions league final over there. He was there with one of his pals and they went to a bar and then they went their separate ways home. Then Finbarr was found the next morning,” Dan said.

“The main thing is to express our appreciation of the fact that he had so many loyal friends in New Zealand.”

Finbarr had been home twice in the last 18 months, and one of these trips was to celebrate his sister’s wedding. Though he loved home, Finbarr had a great life in New Zealand, Dan said.

“One of his pals said he literally couldn’t go down a street in Wellington without someone stopping for a chat. He was so popular and well liked.”

“He was recently best man at a friend’s wedding over there, and when I was making calls to New Zealand the first person I rang was a priest and it turned out that it was the priest who married the couple he was best man for.”

A Wellington police spokeperson said Finbarr's body was seen in the harbour at 10.46am on Sunday morning New Zealand time. His body was taken to the mortuary where an initial examination was carried out.

No foul play is suspected, but the spokesperson said a post mortem will be carried out to confirm the cause of death.

A spokesperson for the Department of Foreign Affairs said it is providing consular assistance to his family.

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