Sister pays emotional tribute to tragic cave adventurer
The international diving expert who lost his life while exploring an underwater cave was held in high esteem by all who came to know him, mourners at his funeral were told yesterday.
Members of the Polish community from around Ireland, and some who had travelled from their native country, joined with locals at a tiny church in south Galway to bid farewell to adventurer Artur Kozlowski.
The 33-year-old Pole, who lived at Shankill in Co Dublin, was a regular visitor to the caves of south Galway.
Gort Parish Priest Fr Tommy Marrinansaid there was also a certain irony to the fact that a man who had so enjoyed exploring flooded underground caves should be brought on his final journey to the church in Kiltartan which, itself, had been flooded in winter storms two years ago.
On his first visit to the area, Artur had asked a local man if there were any caves nearby and was told that there were, but they were flooded. It was exactly what he was looking for.
"He was very special to this community. He was loved by so many people here," Fr Marrinan said
"He was a lovely man, full of fun and full of adventure and as such, he didn't believe in taking out a pension," Fr Marrinan said.
He stressed that it was an honour to be a support to Artur's mother, Jola and his sisters, Agata and Matgorzata, all of whom had travelled from Poznan for the funeral.
In an emotional address, Matgorzata said that while it was a very difficult occasion for the family, they were grateful to everybody for their support.
"He was a man who would go against the flow, he would go where other people would not. In a cave you never know what you will find around the next corner, he was going his own way and wherever his heart took him," she said.
Burial afterwards was in the local cemetery.