Friday 23 February 2018

Over €20,000 raised to help bring tragic Irish drowning victim David Houlihan home from Thailand

David Houlihan
David Houlihan
Louise Kelly

Louise Kelly

A fundraising page set up to help the family of a tragic Irish man who drowned in Thailand bring his remains home has raised over €20,000 overnight.

David Houlihan (24) went missing on Monday night in Thailand on the way to his hotel in Koh Samui.

The Waterford man was backpacking in the popular tourist spot as part of an extended trip, en route to visit friends in Australia.

Family friend Mary Fitzpatrick set up a YouCaring fundraising page 'Helping to bring David home' following the tragedy.

It has raised just over €21,000 thus far, gathering 725 supporters and has been shared almost 3,000 times on Facebook.

"A collection to help the lads at this time. David's family are looking after everything but we would love to show our support. Any and all donations welcome," reads the fundraising appeal.

Read more: Irish backpacker David Houlihan (24) drowns in Thailand

His siblings were informed yesterday morning that his body had been found.

David's two older brothers Paul and Adam travelled from Dungarvan yesterday to bring their brother home while the youngest sibling Johnathan (14) remained at home. Another brother Patrick is currently in the US.

This is the third time the Houlihan brothers have faced heartbreaking tragedy. Their mother Bernie passed away in 2011 after a battle with cancer - seven years after their father John had died of a heart attack.

The Department of Foreign Affairs is currently providing consular assistance to the family.

A keen GAA player, David lined out for his club Dungarvan last Friday before departing on Sunday, scoring a point in a championship match.

Chairman Tony Ryan described David as a tremendous clubman who was well-liked around the community.

Read more: Tributes paid to Irishman in Thai drowning tragedy

"He left on Sunday to go over to see some very good friends he has in Australia. He had a huge range of great friends from within our club, our rival clubs and everywhere," said Mr Ryan. "David was very well liked."

Team-mates last night gathered to pay their respects to David, who captained the under-21 football team when they won the county's western championship the year his mother died.

"It is very difficult for the family and we as a club want to pay tribute to him, especially after the family has already suffered bereavements," Mr Ryan added.

"David was a great sportsman. He played football and hurling with us and will be a huge loss to the area. He played soccer with Lismore and had recently taken up golf.

"We were very proud of him."

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