'We are so relieved to finally have Michael home' - Body found in the search for missing student Michael Bugler
Gardai yet to confirm identity of body recovered off Galway coast this afternoon
The sister of a young student who has been missing since before Christmas said they are "relieved to finally have Michael home" following the discovery of a body earlier today.
Michael Bugler (20) has been missing since December 18 last, with a massive search operation undertaken by emergency services over the last month.
Today, a body was spotted by a search party approximately 20 metres offshore at Oranmore, Co Galway.
A source said that it would take “some time” to confirm whether the body recovered is that of missing NUIG student Michael Bugler.
This evening, Michael's older sister Laura Bugler thanked the public on behalf of her family and Michael's friends for their help and support over the last three weeks.
"On behalf of myself, my family and Michael's friends I'd like to thank you all for your help and support over the past 3 weeks," she wrote on a Facebook post.
"Thankfully we are so relieved to finally have Michael home today x."
Galway RNLI Lifeboat launched from Galway Docks this afternoon shortly after 12.20pm following a request from local gardai.
The remains were taken onboard the lifeboat and transported back to the docks, before they were removed to University Hospital Galway.
NUI Galway student Michael Bugler is originally from Ennis, Co Clare.
The law student was last seen at around 1am on the Friday morning of December 18 after he left the Quay's Bar in Galway city.
Last week Mr Bugler’s sister Laura posted an emotional message, thanking the volunteers for their help in searching for Michael.
“I never thought I would be entering 2016 with my little brother gone,” she added.
Cllr Pat McMahon, of Newmarket on Fergus in Co. Clare, offered his condolences to Michael’s family on behalf of the community and parish.
“People really feel for them,” he said.
“We’ve all got families and this could be anybody’s story.
“At least with finding his body they have a final reprieve.”