Arranmore Island at a standstill for funeral of teenager who drowned

Leaving Cert pupil Daire Conlon died on Monday afternoon last when he went swimming at Leabgarrow Beach on the island
Arranmore Island at a standstill for funeral of teenager who drowned

Stephen Maguire

A Co Donegal island came to a standstill on Friday as hundreds gathered for the funeral of drowning victim Daire Conlon.

The 18-year-old Leaving Cert pupil died on Monday afternoon last when he went swimming at Leabgarrow Beach on Arranmore Island.

A large crowd gathered outside St Crone's Church on the island today, with others inside to say a final farewell to Mr Conlon.

Offertory gifts commemorating his short life, including a football, were placed at a table in front of the altar.

Rev John Boyce remembered the life of the young man, and thanked the many people who had sympathised with the family and gathered in the church, outside in the cold and online.

Drowning victim Daire Conlon

Among the mourners were Mr Conlon's mother and father, Claire and Derek, and brothers Conor and Sean and extended family.

A special prayer was also offered by those who came to Mr Conlon's assistance, including paramedics, the lifeboat crew and local men Conor Ward and Michael Bonner who were at the scene.

Prayers of the faithful were read by family members while the hymns included 'Be Not Afraid.'

A special tribute from Mr Conlon's school, Gairmscoil Mhic Diarmada, posted online said: "It is with a heavy heart that we say our final goodbye to our beloved Leaving Cert student Daire.

"We are thinking now of his family, friends, fellow students, teachers, support staff and the entire island community.

"We pray for comfort at this sad time. May God have mercy on his gentle soul."

After the funeral mass Mr Conlon's remains were taken to the adjoining cemetery for burial.

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