Triple drowning tragedy: Funeral of 'diamond girl' Niamh O'Connor takes place in hometown
Published 04/07/2015 | 02:30
The funeral of a 20-year-old woman who died tragically in a triple drowning incident in West Cork is taking place this morning.
Niamh O'Connor, from Blossomgrove in Glanmire, Cork drowned alongside her boyfriend, Barry Davis Ryan (20) and his father Barry Ryan Sr (51) at a beauty spot in Baltimore, West Cork on Tuesday evening.
Mr Ryan Sr will be buried tomorrow, while the search for the body of Mr Davis Ryan, a Cork Institute of Technology student, will continue for a fifth day off Baltimore harbour as deteriorating sea conditions yesterday hampered dive operations.
It is understood Mr Ryan Sr drowned while heroically trying to save her and his son Barry Davis Ryan.
Niamh, whose funeral takes place at the Sacred Heart Church in Glounthaune this morning, was described as a "cherished eldest daughter, an adored sister and a dear girlfriend".
The two families were united in heartache last night to support each other after the triple drowning tragedy.
Ms O'Connor's granduncle, Cork GAA legend Tadhg Murphy, admitted that the family was "heartbroken at losing our diamond girl".
Hundreds last night queued at the O'Connor family's Glanmire home to pay their respects.
Mr Ryan Snr and Mr Davis Ryan are the son and grandson of Penneys/Primark founder Arthur Ryan.
Defence Minister Simon Coveney, who lost his own father Hugh (62) to a drowning accident in 1998, said that the Ryan family was enduring "an agony".
"This is heartbreaking stuff. I know what it is like when you have lost someone to drowning and you are trying to find a body," he said.
"Losing somebody to the sea is heartbreaking in itself but not having a body is terrible for the people concerned."