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Bodies of missing fishermen found in trawler's nets

The bodies of the two fishermen who went missing from Skerries eight days ago have been recovered five miles off Clogher Head.

Ronan Browne (26) from Skerries and David Gilsenan (41) from Rush went missing after setting out to go lobster fishing off the Skerries Islands. Their 17ft open boat was found the following day.

At 1.36am this morning a fishing vessel, Guiding Light, reported finding a body in its nets five miles off Clogher Head.

The Clogher Head lifeboat went to the scene and during a search of the nets made the discovery of a second body.

The bodies where brought to shore and made land at Port Oriel at 3.34am, where they were identified as those of the two missing fishermen.


The pair were believed to have been working with 10 lobster pots off St Patrick's Island when the tragedy happened last Friday.

Their upturned boat was found the next day, five miles south-east of Clogher Head between Rockabill lighthouse and St Patrick's Island, but there was no sign of the men.

Mr Browne's wife Linda and Mr Gilsenan's wife Suzanne kept vigil at the harbour as other fishermen launched a search.

The boat Lady Linda was called after Mr Browne's wife. The couple married last October. Ronan Browne was a deep- sea mechanic who had been fishing in Loughshinny since childhood.

David Gilsenan, a father of two young children, aged six and nine, was a marine engineer and a life-long fisherman.

The pair were also involved with the local Skerries rugby club. As the search continued, a special diesel fund was set up for those taking part as fuel for the search was costing fishermen up to €1,000 a day.

Thousands of people joined the families and friends of the missing men in a "walk of solidarity" to raise the money for about 30 local fishermen and boaters taking part in the search. The fishermen were backed up by a team of naval divers and the garda underwater dive team as well as the Skerries lifeboat service.

The Navy's LE Emer was also on the scene to co-ordinate the massive operation.