Monday 22 October 2018

Young farmer lost in river tragedy had 'zest for living', says priest

The coffin of Declan Davitt is carried by mourners at Killeen, Louisburgh, Co Mayo, yesterday. Photo: Keith Heneghan
The coffin of Declan Davitt is carried by mourners at Killeen, Louisburgh, Co Mayo, yesterday. Photo: Keith Heneghan

Jonathan Gray

The funeral of a young farmer who lost his life in a drowning tragedy in the early hours of Christmas Day has heard how he had "so much potential, and energy and zest for living".

Hundreds of mourners from as far as New Zealand and Scotland came to attend yesterday's funeral of Declan Davitt (26), from Curradavit, Louisburgh, Co Mayo, which took place at the Church of the Holy Family in Killeen, west Mayo.

His friend Martin Needham was laid to rest on Thursday in the adjoining cemetery.

The two friends died when their 4x4 vehicle was swept away as they drove across the normally shallow Carrowniskey River in the early hours of Christmas Day.

Parish priest Fr Martin Long said that the community was mourning for both families and he said it was particularly difficult for the Davitt family as Declan's sister had died seven years ago.

"Declan's young life with so much potential and energy and zest for living was ended too soon by a cruel, random mischance. To say farewell to one so young is never easy.

"All who knew Declan or who have spoken of him these past few days always mentioned the close friendship he had with Martin. Without any co-ordination between the families, they both decided on almost identical symbols to be brought to the altar to represent aspects of their lives, the things that mattered to them," he said.

Items included a model tractor, a mobile phone, his darts, a sheep shears and a Kiwi symbol in recognition of the four years he spent in New Zealand. Fr Long said people had travelled from afar "to acknowledge a man who was a loyal friend".

Irish Independent

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