Summer day that ended so tragically
IT was one of those long summer days, warm and placid, a bit of heaven in many ways.
But in the blink of an eye, a tragedy would rip the heart and soul from a community.
Last Thursday afternoon Gareth Reid from Laurence's Park headed down to the resevoir at Rosehall for a paddle with some pals.
But it would cost him his life.
The lake, used by local anglers, falls away steeply.
When Gareth got into difficulty his friends formed a human chain to try to get him back. They tried in vain. A call was made to the emergency services and a full rescue began.
Drogheda Coastguard, Boyne Fishermen's Rescue & Recovery Service, Drogheda Fire and Rescue, Drogheda Ambulance Service and Drogheda gardaí raced to the scene.
The BFRRS underwater search team deployed two divers into the reservoir and shortly afterwards they recovered the body.
By the banks, friends and family were left grief-stricken, hardly believing the events that lasted but a few minutes, but changed their lives forever.
In the days after his death, Gareth was remembered in so many ways. Teachers spoke of a 'quiet, unassuming boy with a flair for English and creative writing.' He had attended St Joseph's CBS but had switched to St Paul's in recent months.
The reality of life would be brought home to so many of his friends, so real when a peer dies so suddenly.
Fittingly too, those among the Drogheda United Ultras chanted his name in respect at their game with Shamrock Rovers.