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Hundreds gather for funeral of fisherman

LAST week they gathered in their hundreds to search for him. Yesterday they came together once again for his funeral Mass.

David Gilsenan (41) and his friend Ronan Browne (26) went missing at the start of the month after they left the north Dublin port of Skerries to check lobster pots.

Their bodies were recovered last Saturday morning.

Yesterday, many of those who had taken part in the search for the two men, including officials from the Naval Service, lifeboat crews and the Irish Coast Guard, attended the funeral of Mr Gilsenan, a father of two. Mr Browne's funeral will take place today.

Yesterday, as Mr Gilsenan's wife Suzanne comforted their two children, Conor (9) and Aoibheann (6), Fr David Halpin told mourners at St Maur's Church in Rush, Co Dublin, that they would never know what went wrong on the men's boat.

Captain Frank O'Connor and some of his crew from the 'LE Ciara', members of the Irish Coast Guard and the Skerries and Clogherhead lifeboats, lined up as the coffin bearing Mr Gilsenan's remains was carried into the church.

Reflecting his love of the sea and cooking, Conor and Aoibheann brought gifts to the altar of a cook book and a boat propeller.

Fr Halpin said at a time such as this he was supposed to say something to help in healing their broken hearts but that was a very hard thing to do.

"We all know our world is imperfect," he said. "When tragedy like this happens we see that our life is just hanging by a thread and we never know what is around the corner."

Following the tragedy there had been a "tsunami of kindness" and spontaneous goodness from the huge numbers of people who offered their help and support and from those involved in the search and rescue operation, the priest added.

The funeral Mass of Mr Browne will be held today at St Patrick's Church in Skerries.

Irish Independent