GARDAI HAVE identified a man whose remains washed up on Morriscastle Beach on Thursday as a Wexford town man who is believed to have drowned last Friday night.
The sad discovery at Morriscastle was made by a member of the public who was jogging on the beack there at approximately 9.30 a.m. on Thursday. Gardai were immediately alerted and the scene was cordonned off before the remains were brought by ambulance to the mortuary at Wexford General Hospital.
The man was later identified as Declan Duffy, aged in his mid40s, who came originally from Dublin and who had been living at Charlotte Street in Wexford town.
Wexford's Chief Super intenent, John Roche, confirmed yesterday (Friday) that the positive identification was made by a member of the deceased's family at the hospital.
The late Mr Duffy had been missing since Friday. On that night, a mobile phone and some other personal articles were discovered on Wexford Bridge, and a major search operation was launched in the harbour area.
Members of the Wexford branch of the RNLI rushed from their Christmas party in the nearby Riverbank Hotel to the station and a lifeboat was launched at 9.45 p.m. A spokesperson for the RNLI said that the operation involved five crew members: three in the rib boat, one on shore and another as Deputy Launching Authority.
The Waterford-based Rescue 117 helicopter was also drafted in to assist in the search. Meanwhile, the Rosslare and Curracloe onshore coastguard units combed the quay and riverbank in a bid to identify the man's whereabouts.
A large number of Wexford gardaí were also involved in the search operation. At about midnight, it was decided to stand down the operation, as it was unclear at that stage as to whether or not somebody had actually entered the water.
Gardaí continued to investigate his disappearance in the coming days but were unable to locate him until his body was sadly washed up on a the beach on Thursday.