The community of Killybegs are in shock and disbelief after a double tragedy took place in their coastal fishing town on Friday. Two bodies were recovered from the ocean within hours of each other during the course of the afternoon. A search party were stunned to find the body of a 50-year-old man as they were trying to find an 87-year-old man who had gone missing from a nearby community hospital.
Yesterday, local councillor Brendan Byrne expressed concern in relation to recent events. He said: “Questions are going to have to be put to the Health Service Executive (HSE) and answers are going to have to be obtained as to how this tragedy unfolded and occurred.”
The first body was that of Michael McIntyre from Malinbeg, in Glencolumbkille, who had not been reported as missing and the second was that of pensioner, Paddy Keeney from Granhey, Fintra Road who was understood to be suffering from dementia.
Councillor Byrne said that the community of south-west Donegal was in a state of shock and disbelief after being struck by a double tragedy. “There was a total sense of shock when the first body was discovered and that was on top of the shock of learning that a patient had gone missing. It is actually difficult to put the feeling of the community into words,” he said.
Michael McIntyre was one of a family of fifteen. He was a father of four and was a fisherman by trade. His brother, Gerard McIntyre tragically drowned in Howth Harbour at the end of February 1981. Paddy Keeney was a widower and a much respected member of the community.
TD Thomas Pringle said that the town was in deep shock at the two events and described Mr Keeney as “talkative, gentle and friendly. “It is terrible that his life has ended this way,” he said. Both bodies were removed to Letterkenny General Hospital where post-mortems were carried out.