'We're devastated by Alan's death'

Alan Lucid with girlfriend Lisa O’Sullivan
Alan Lucid with girlfriend Lisa O’Sullivan

Tadhg Evans

The devastated family of Alan Lucid, whose body is to return to Ireland today (September 6), have praised neighbours, friends and relations for their support this week following the tragic death of the 28-year-old Ballyheigue man in northern Holland.

Mr Lucid, originally from Knockane, Ballyheigue, had lived in Cork for some 10 years, where he was in the process of completing a research Ph.D. in Cereal and Beverage Science in University College Cork.

He was at an international symposium on Lactic Acid Bacteria in the Dutch seaside town of Egmond aan Zee last week, but came into difficulty while swimming off the coast of the town with other symposium attendees in the early hours of last Thursday morning.

His colleagues raised the alarm, but efforts by medics to resuscitate him after he was washed to shore at around 3.20am failed, and he was pronounced dead at the scene.

His body has been in a hospital in the city of Alkmaar in recent days. His father Jack and brother John travelled to Holland on Friday in the company of Mr Lucid's girlfriend Lisa O'Sullivan and her mother to receive details of the tragedy from Dutch authorities.

His body is to return to Ireland today (Wednesday) and he will be waked in Hartnett's Funeral Home in Ballyheigue between 6pm and 8.30pm tonight. His burial will take place after tomorrow's Mass, scheduled for 12pm at St Mary's Church, Ballyheigue.

Mr Lucid's cousin, Listowel Municipal District Cathaoirleach Councillor John Lucid, this week spoke of "a lovely young man" from a family deeply involved with Ballyheigue GAA, and added that the locality is in shock at what has happened.

"He hurled for Ballyheigue and Kerry at under-age level before he moved to Cork around 10 years ago, and that was typical of his family, who are at the heart of Ballyheigue GAA," Cllr Lucid said. "After receiving national school education in Glenderry, he attended secondary school in Tralee CBS before going on the complete his undergraduate degree in Cork Institute of Technology, where he really excelled. You couldn't have a conversation with his mother, Bridie, without her mentioning Alan's achievements. He was the youngest of eight children and they were all very proud of what he had achieved both inside and outside of the academic field.

"We're all devastated here in Ballyheigue, but his parents and siblings have spoken very highly of the way that their friends, neighbours and relations have rallied around them in recent days. People are good, and it's at awful times like this that you find that out."

Alan Lucid is remembered by parents Jack and Bridie, siblings Gerard, John, Paudie, Mary, David, Michael and Nicky, and girlfriend Lisa.