Family keeps lakeside vigil in hope kayaker's body is found
THE family of a missing kayaker is now hoping his body will be recovered so that they can bury him and "send him to heaven", writes Majella O'Sullivan.
Father-of-one Neilus O'Connor (38) of Cromane, Co Kerry, has been missing since early on Friday morning when he failed to return home after kayaking on White Sands Lake, also known locally as Loch Gaineamhain.
Yesterday, Neilus's uncle Michael O'Connor paid tribute to the search teams, volunteers and all the local people who were offering them support as they maintained their vigil at the lakeside.
His parents, Freddie and Noeleen, and his brother and sisters joined Neilus's partner Melissa and members of their extended families as well as friends from Tralee, who also took part in the search.
The missing man's uncle, Albert, is making his way home from Boston so he can be with the family.
"It's terrible the waiting and the hanging around when you can't do anything," Mr O'Connor told the Irish Independent.
"The local community has been absolutely fantastic, they've come down with tea and sandwiches and it's just like in Union Hall in Cork."
Tralee Civil Defence and the Killarney sub-aqua team joined in the search over the weekend with coastguard units from around Co Kerry.
Originally from Tralee, Co Kerry, Mr O'Connor had only moved to Cromane recently and he and his partner had celebrated the birth of their first baby, Hannah, only 10 weeks ago.