Colleagues form guard of honour for tragic garda with the 'cheeky smile'
A Garda and father-of-four who died while scuba diving has been remembered as a "consummate professional" and a devoted family man with a cheeky smile, who had saved many lives.
Members of An Garda Síochána formed a solemn guard of honour for the funeral of their colleague, Garda David Hearne.
His colleague, Garda John Duggan, told mourners at the packed Star of the Sea Church in Duncannon, Co Wexford, yesterday that Gda Hearne was a devoted husband and father.
"David loved his family so much that on his locker in work, he had a newspaper clipping of his wedding day, pictured with his wife, Barbara," he said.
"Diving was his big thing, the life-saving, the generosity he showed diving into rivers to save a person."
Gda Hearne (47), died while scuba diving off Hook Head on Saturday.
He is survived by Barbara, their children Dylan, Toby, Noah and Libby, his parents Declan and Gemma and his siblings Brid, Maeve and Declan. His children brought gifts to the altar symbolising his life. Libby brought a figure of 'Murty the Garda', while Noah brought a picture he had drawn. Toby brought his father's diving gear and Dylan his guitar.
Gda Hearne's younger brother Declan spoke of being overwhelmed at the generosity of so many people, who came along to tell stories relating to David.
"It would have been a more traumatic time for the family but for the Hook Head Sub Aqua club members going with him on Saturday afternoon, thus ensuring his return to the family," he said.
A member of the club, Noel Furlong, told mourners Gda Hearne would be remembered by all for his cheeky smile and incredible sense of humour.
No matter what, he would always be looking towards the next adventure, while everyone loved him, he added.