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Tributes paid to 'gentle soul' whose body was found in sea by passerby

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Tragedy: The scene at Westport Quay, Co Mayo, yesterday after the body of Sean Hynes from Ballina was found. Photo: Paul Mealey

Tragedy: The scene at Westport Quay, Co Mayo, yesterday after the body of Sean Hynes from Ballina was found. Photo: Paul Mealey

Tragedy: The scene at Westport Quay, Co Mayo, yesterday after the body of Sean Hynes from Ballina was found. Photo: Paul Mealey

The body of a young man has been recovered from the sea in Westport, Co Mayo, following what gardaí believe to be "a tragic accident".

The alert was raised yesterday shortly before 9am by a person walking on the quay beside the water.

His body was recovered from the sea and removed to Mayo University Hospital in Castlebar for a post-mortem examination.

The young man has been named locally as Sean Hynes, who was in his 30s and from Ballina.

He was attending an event in Westport on Saturday night with a number of his friends.

Local gardaí are investigating the circumstances of what is understood to be a tragic accident.

A Garda spokesperson told the Irish Independent that investigators were not treating the death as suspicious.

"Gardaí in Westport are investigating all of the circumstances surrounding the death of a man in his 30s whose body was discovery at the quay, Westport, on Sunday," he said.

"The local coroner was notified and a post-mortem examination is due to be carried out [this morning].

"Investigating gardaí are not currently treating the death as suspicious but will await the outcome of a post-mortem to determine the course of their investigation."

Ballina councillor Mark Duffy, who knew the victim, described Mr Hynes as a "gentle soul" with a passion for local GAA.

"The news came as an awful shock to everyone that knew him," he said.

"I'm still trying to come to terms with what happened, but all I can say is that Sean was such a lovely man with a gentle soul.

"He was a great supporter of Co Mayo and Manchester United and had a big circle of friends.

"Ballina is such a tight-knit town and I can imagine that the whole community will be grieving," he said.

Westport councillor Christy Hyland extended his sympathies to the man's family.

"It's an awful tragedy and my heart goes out to this poor lad's family and friends," he said.

"The town is extremely shocked and saddened to hear that this young man lost his life in this way.

"It's going to be a very difficult time for his loved ones, but I'm sure the community will do what they can to help them," he said.

Anyone with information is asked to contact Castlebar garda station on 094-9038200 or the Garda Confidential Line 1800 666 111.

Irish Independent