Thursday 22 March 2018

'Daddy got lost in the dark and went to heaven' - how Lily (4) and Katie (2) explain their father's tragic accident

Diarmuid Twomey (inset) was missing since December 21
Diarmuid Twomey (inset) was missing since December 21
Ralph Riegel

Ralph Riegel

A MOTHER of two whose partner drowned in a freak slurry pit accident last Christmas revealed her daughters believe their 'Daddy got lost in the dark and went to heaven'.

Ciara Byrne paid a moving tribute to those who had searched for six weeks for Diarmuid Twomey (31) after he vanished while walking back to his Cork home from a Christmas party.

Mr Twomey’s remains were found in a slurry pit in Whitechurch on January 28.

He had vanished after leaving a family Christmas party on December 20/21 to walk some 10km to his home in Carrignavar.

He had complained of feeling unwell and wanted to walk rather than take a taxi.

Ms Byrne told RedFM her two daughters, Lily (4) and Katie (2), miss their daddy every single day.

Diarmuid Twomey
Diarmuid Twomey

“What happened is nothing more than a tragic accident,” Ciara said.

“It appears he got hypothermia. With that it shuts down all non-essential functions. It keeps you breathing but that's about it. He wouldn't have necessarily known what he was doing."

 "It was very cold that night, there was bad rain and he only had a shirt on him.”

"We know he doubled back to look for his phone. But he went into the next farm up because it was dark. He probably got confused. The slurry tank was three-quarters covered and he was just unlucky enough to fall into the quarter that wasn't covered."

“The outcome was devastating for us all especially considering where he was found.

“As time goes on you never really forget it, you just learn to live with it. You just take it day by day. But he will be forever in our hearts and always with us,” she said.

The family are now awaiting a Cork coroner's inquest into the tragedy.

Gardaí described Mr Twomey’s death as a tragic accident.

It is 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.

The remains were found when a farmer began work to agitate a slurry pit on his lands.

Ms Byrne said she had lost hope several weeks before the discovery 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 had joined with gardai in combing the Whitechurch, Carrignavar and Ballinahina countryside over five weeks for clues as to what happened to the young man.

Detectives believe Mr Twomey most likely tripped and fell into the pit as he attempted to take a short cut on his 10km walk home.

The farmyard would have been on Mr Twomey’s route home from Cork to Carrignavar.

His mobile phone was found in a farmyard directly above the farm where his body was later located.

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