Missing father's death in slurry pit 'a tragic accident'
The death of Diarmuid Twomey (31) in a slurry pit is being treated as a tragic accident.
It is now suspected the father of two tripped and fell into the slurry pit at Whitechurch north of Cork city as he took a short-cut in the darkness while walking home from a family Christmas gathering.
Dental records were used to confirm that the remains found in the pit on Thursday evening by a farmer who was preparing to agitate slurry were those of Mr Twomey.
The clothing on the body also matched what Mr Twomey was last reported as wearing.
Initial indications are that Mr Twomey drowned.
Gardaí liaised with Mr Twomey's partner, Ciara Byrne, on Thursday evening and the heartbroken family was immediately informed of the positive identification following the post-mortem examination.
Sources close to the family said they were "heartbroken and devastated but relieved that Diarmuid was finally located".
Ms Byrne said she had lost hope several weeks ago of her partner being found safe.
Tragically, his mother Anne died on January 6 as the search for her missing son was at its height.
Hundreds of volunteers joined with gardaí in combing the Whitechurch, Carrignavar and Ballinahina areas over the past five weeks for clues as to what happened to the young man.
Mr Twomey's partner was forced on December 24 to tell their children, Lily (3) and Katie (2), that "Daddy is lost".
Speaking at the time, she said: "I told them Daddy got lost but now I'm thinking I might have to just tell them that he is in heaven."
She said the family were praying every day for five weeks for news about what happened to Diarmuid, who was hailed as a devoted son, partner and father.
Supt Con Cadogan said gardaí were keeping an open mind about the matter until the results of all tests were received.
However, garda sources confirmed that there was no evidence of foul play and it was being treated as an accident.
Detectives believe Mr Twomey most likely tripped and fell into the pit as he took a short-cut on his 10km walk from Cork city to his Carrignavar home.
Mr Twomey vanished while returning from a family Christmas gathering in Cork city on December 20/21.
He had escorted his partner to a taxi but insisted on walking on alone after complaining of feeling unwell.
His mobile phone was later recovered in an isolated farmyard at Ballinahina.
The farmyard was on Mr Twomey's route home from Cork to Carrignavar.
Tracking dogs lost all trace of Mr Twomey near a by-road a short distance from the farmyard.
The slurry pit where the remains were discovered is on a farm directly adjacent to where the mobile phone was found.
Cork fire brigade units equipped with breathing apparatus helped with the draining of the pit and the removal of the body to Cork University Hospital (CUH).