Thursday 14 December 2017

Two men taken from water in double tragedy

Paddy Clancy

TWO bodies have been recovered from Killybegs Harbour in Donegal.

One was a 50-year-old fisherman and the second was an elderly man who earlier went missing from a local hospital.

The fisherman's body was taken from the water, although he had not been reported missing, when gardai launched a search for the missing hospital patient.

The first body taken from the water beside a slipway near the garda station was of 50-year-old Michael McIntyre, from Malinbeg, Glencolmcille, who was last sighted on Wednesday.

Gardai said they were looking for another person at the time, an 87-year-old suffering from dementia, who went missing from Killybegs Community Hospital about noon yesterday.

Gardai said they were investigating whether the first body had fallen from a trawler or the pier. A spokesman said: "At this stage we are treating it as a drowning."

Killybegs residents said it was the second tragedy for Mr McIntyre's family. His brother, Gerard, died when he drowned in Howth Harbour in the '80s.

The search continued for Paddy Keeney, who went missing from Killybegs Community Hospital shortly before noon.

Killybegs lifeboat and a Coastguard helicopter joined the search, along with coast rescuers, for the missing hospital patient.

There were a number of sightings of him in the port area and gardai said they were concerned for him.

His body was recovered by divers from the water shortly after 4.30pm, about 100km from where the first body was recovered.

Both bodies were taken to Letterkenny General Hospital for post-mortem examinations.

TD Thomas Pringle, who lives in Killybegs, said: "Everybody is shocked at these two events. People were desperately seeking Mr Keeney because the last thing we wanted was a double-tragedy."

Irish Independent

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