Tragic fisherman ‘a true gentleman’

A young Donegal fisherman who drowned in Scotland on Christmas Day was “a true gentleman and a quiet leader”.

A young Donegal fisherman who drowned in Scotland on Christmas Day was “a true gentleman and a quiet leader”.

The body of Philip Anthony Toland (34), known to all as Anthony, was recovered from Ullapool Harbour by a police dive team on St Stephen’s Day.

He was the son of Ann McDaid Toland, a native of Glengad, and the late Owen Toland of Malin Head. He is survived by his mother, three brothers, two sisters and young son.

The fisherman had last been seen near the pier at Ullapool harbour in the early hours of Christmas morning. A search was sparked when he failed to appear on Christmas Day.

Police investigations are continuing but a police spokesperson said they do not suspect foul play. It is thought he may have lost his footing when returning to a fishing boat.

A post mortem was due to be carried out yesterday and the remains are not expected to be brought back to Donegal until Friday or Saturday.

The deceased had been a member of Glengad United for the last 15-16 years and was captain “three or four times”, according to a club spokesperson. “Anthony was a true gentleman, a great player and a quiet but wonderful leader. He played for us just four weeks ago against Greencastle, in a match that we won.

“Today has been the saddest day for our football club since 1987 when we lost the McDaid brothers, the founders of our club.

“Anthony was a major part of our most successful league and cup winning teams and we as a club appreciate all that he has done for Glengad FC . Our the sadness in our club today can not be put into words. We will always remember Anthony. We extend our condolences to his family and assure them that we as a club are here to do anything that is needed for a true Glengad FC man.”

The sportsman had also played a season each for Clonmany and Carndonagh.

Charlie O’Donnell of Malin Head Fisherman’s Co-op said Anthony was “a very affable person that everybody got on well with”. He added: “Anthony was a good friend to everyone, in his quiet way. He is another casualty in a long list of casualties to hit the people of Malin Head and Glengad.”