Tribute was paid in Mullingar today to the people of Donegal for the hospitality they extended to those who travelled to the county to assist in the search for the drowned Mullingar soldier, Cpl Gavin Carey.
The praise for Donegal's hospitality and the work of the search and rescue participants came from Fr Robert McCabe, who delivered the homily at the ceremony in The Cathedral of Christ the King, Mullingar.
There was also fulsome praise for the late Cpl Carey, a father of one, who was on a training course at Finner Camp when he and some friends got into difficulty while swimming at a nearby beach last Tuesday. His body was taken from the sea off Rogey Point in Bundoran on Sunday.
Chief celebrant, Fr Padraic McMahon, Adm, Mullingar, was assisted in the ceremony by Fr McCabe, and also by Fr Ger Dowd, chaplain at Custume Barracks in Athlone, where Cpl Carey was based; Fr Alan Ward, chaplain at Finner Camp, and Fr Paddy Casey, retired PP.
The president was represented at the funeral by his aide de camp, Commdt Louise Condon and also present were Paul Kehoe, minister of state at the Department of Defence, and Rear Admiral Mark Mellett, chief of staff of the Irish Defence Forces.
The coffin, draped with a tricolour, was placed on a gun carriage after the Mass, and there was a guard of honour formed by former servicemen as the procession – led by the army band – left the Cathedral grounds. A large body of mourners was led by by Cpl's family and friends and a large group of uniformed soldiers, marching in formation.