Monday 23 July 2018

Mourners attend funeral of Mayo river tragedy victim

Martin Needham, 27, died after being swept away in a river on Christmas Day (Family handout/PA)
Martin Needham, 27, died after being swept away in a river on Christmas Day (Family handout/PA)
Independent.ie Newsdesk

Independent.ie Newsdesk

Hundreds of mourners attended the first of the funerals for two "inseparable" friends who drowned in a tragic accident on Christmas Day.

Martin Needham's funeral was held at the Church of the Holy Family, Killeen at midday, while the funeral of his friend Declan Davitt will take place on Saturday.

Martin (27) and his friend Declan (26) drowned in the early hours of Christmas morning when the 4X4 vehicle they were in became submerged in water as they tried to cross the Carrowniskey river near Louisburgh.

It is understood they were taking a shortcut across a stretch of water that is normally passable.

Four tractors led Martin's remains from his family's home in Killeen this morning.

Gifts used to symbolise his young life included a family photo, a sheep figurine, his phone and a small digger.

Declan Davitt, 26, died with his friend Martin Needham after being swept away in a river in Co Mayo (Family handout/PA)
Declan Davitt, 26, died with his friend Martin Needham after being swept away in a river in Co Mayo (Family handout/PA)

Burial took place afterwards in the Old Cemetery Killeen.

Read More: 'An unbelievably numbing day, losing these fine men': Friends die in horrific Christmas accident as vehicle swept away by river

It has also emerged that the Davitt family suffered a separate Christmas tragedy seven years ago.

Declan's older sister Kathleen drowned off the west coast in 2010. Her funeral took place on Christmas week, when she was 26, the same age as Declan, according to shocked locals.

Online Editors

Editor's Choice

Also in Irish News