Body found in search for missing Waterford man

Body found in search for missing Waterford man
Leonard O'Neill.

A body has been found in Waterford during an ongoing search for missing local man Leonard O'Neill, who was last seen alive 12 days ago.

The remains of a man were found along the river Suir in the Bilberry area, west of Rice Bridge in the city centre, at about 10.45am today by volunteers from the Waterford Marine Search and Rescue group who have been searching for Leonard O'Neill since he went missing in the early hours of Tuesday morning, April 16th.

Gardaí believe that the body is that of Leonard O'Neill.

Mr O'Neill, who was 50 and from Ashley Court in the city, is believed to have slipped and fallen into the river at the Plaza area, less than a kilometre from where the body was found upriver today.

The missing man was last seen in person at the Exchange Bar in Ballybricken at 11.45pm on Monday night, April 15. He had a boat on the marina and may have fallen into the river while attempting to gain access to it.

Thousands of man-hours have been put into the search for Leonard "Lenny" O'Neill in the intervening days by gardaí both on land and from the sub-aqua unit, Coast Guard Rescue 117 personnel, navy divers, members of the Waterford Marine Search and Rescue and Waterford City River Rescue voluntary groups, Civil Defence volunteers, local fishermen and volunteers, Irish Search Dogs, visiting crews from Mallow, Drogheda and other places, and family members.

"It's sad but at least it brings closure to the family," said one person connected with the search.

It is believed that choppy water caused overnight by Storm Hannah may have helped bring the body close to the surface of the Suir.

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