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'Bryan died trying to make the bridge safe'

A WORKER who lost his life trapped in a cage in the River Shannon died helping to keep others safe, mourners were told at his funeral mass.

Bryan Whelan (29) from Bridgetown, Co Clare, became trapped while carrying out structural work to Thomond Bridge, Limerick City.

TJ O'Herlihy (36) also died in the tragic incident last Saturday. Survivor Paul Murphy, along with hundreds of other mourners, attended Mr Whelan's funeral in Kilbane, Co Clare yesterday.

"While Bryan's death is indeed an immeasurable loss to his parents and siblings and the local community ... he tragically lost his life last Saturday afternoon whilst making Thomond Bridge in Limerick City, safe for other people to use," Fr John Bane told mourners.

"So there is that consolation, that he was still doing something worthwhile, even when he was taken in death," Fr Bane said.

John Paul Whelan, the eldest of three Whelan brothers, said sorrowfully: "The three amigos are now two ... To say our family is heartbroken is an understatement.

Bryan Whelan was laid to rest in Kilbane Cemetery in a coffin draped with the jersey his hurling club Broadford GAA.

Irish Independent