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Saturday 17 March 2018

'Please help bring my son back' - Heartbroken mother appeals for experience divers to aid search for missing Baltimore victim

Barry Davis Ryan, whose body has yet to be recovered after a freak accident killed his father and girlfriend
Barry Davis Ryan, whose body has yet to be recovered after a freak accident killed his father and girlfriend

David Kearns

A mother has made an emotional appeal for experience divers to join in the search of her son, who was among three people who lost their lives off the coast of Cork last week.

The body of Barry Davis Ryan (21) has been missing since he and his father Barry Ryan Snr (51) lost their lives while attempting to rescue girlfriend Niamh O'Connor (20) near Baltimore Harbour on Tuesday evening.

The remains of Barry Snr and Ms O'Connor were recovered immediately, but poor weather and a lack of deep sea divers has hampered efforts to find young Barry's body.

“We would just love if more experienced divers could come in and help to find [Barry],” said grieving mother Ann Ryan.

Barry Ryan Senior
Barry Ryan Senior

“I still can’t belief they’re gone… it’s been so hard to come to terms with it.

“Please, come and help bring my son back.”

Speaking on RTE’s Six One News, Ms Ryan said the search for her son’s body had left her “heartbroken”.

“The loss is huge… Everyone loved them, they had friends everywhere. I can’t believe I’ve lost two loved ones.

“Barry, the dad, was a very intelligent, spiritual man, and my son was a lovely boy. Very intelligent too.

“And Niamh… she was such a beautiful girl. So happy and go lucky. They were soul mates, you could see it in them.”

Niamh O'Connor
Niamh O'Connor

Efforts to locate the body of Mr Ryan, an engineering student, have so far proved fruitless and adverse weather conditions in the week following the accident have hampered searches.

It’s understood that Ms O’Connor was washed into the water by a freak wave, and that Mr Ryan and his father jumped in after her only to be swept away by a strong current.

Penney's founder, Arthur Ryan (80), hailed his son Barry Ryan Snr as a true hero for having sacrificed his own life in a brave but doomed bid to save his son and his son's girlfriend from drowning.

Search teams in the area are now appealing for experienced divers to help in the recovery operation this Thursday and Friday. 

Volunteers will be working closely with Valentia Coastguard and any suitable divers are being encouraged to contact the West Cork Underwater Search and Rescue team on Facebook. 

Local people are being asked to aid the search efforts by offering food and lodging to anyone who volunteers.

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