'It made our hearts brighter on hard days knowing how loved our mother was'

'It made our hearts brighter on hard days knowing how loved our mother was'
Frankie and her grandson

The daughter of a woman who vanished after attending a school reunion in Co Cork has said the search effort to recover her mother's body gave the family strength.

The body of mother-of-five Frankie Devlin (67) was recovered in Garryvoe, East Cork, yesterday afternoon. In a Facebook post, her son Killian confirmed that his mother had died following a "tragic accident".

The search effort involved gardaí, the RNLI, the Coastguard, the Garda Sub Aqua Unit, Cork City Missing Persons group, and up to 200 volunteers.

"We'll never, ever, ever be able to thank people enough. A million thank yous will not be enough. The amount of support we got over the last few days has been unreal," Frankie Devlin's daughter Erin told Patricia Messinger on C103's Cork Today Show.

Even the staff in Garryvoe, all the local people, everyone, it's after giving us strength over the last few days. As hard as the days were, it made our hearts a little bit brighter knowing how loved our mother was.

"The Coastguard were out at 20-past-one very early Monday morning and some of them did not get home until seven o'clock Monday night. They just wouldn't go home."

Erin fondly remembered her mother as a woman who was well-known in her Midleton locality and spent her life "constantly on the go", between running, walking, and cycling.

Frankie was also excited for the birth of Erin's first child, who is due in January.

"She was so excited. Everytime I'd ring her, it wouldn't be 'how are you?', it'd be 'how's the bump?'"

The family were together when informed by gardaí of the discovery of Frankie's body yesterday.

"It's been a bit of a blur. It feels like you're in a movie and it's an out-of-body experience - you're there but it feels you're not there," said Erin.

"It hasn't sunk in. It just feels like you're watching it from the outside but it's you that's in that situation.

At least we have her, we can bring her home, and we can have some place to go. She's with her loved ones up in heaven and that's given us some comfort. We're lucky under the circumstances we have a body. Thank God she was found quite fast because she wasn't out in the elements that long.

"The reality of the whole situation won't hit us until next week."

Funeral arrangements have yet to be made.

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