The fiancee of the skipper of the Pere Charles trawler, which sank off the Wexford coast nine years ago, has settled her High Court action over his death for €225,000.

Thomas Hennessy, 30, was the skipper on board the trawler when it went down close to Hook Head on the evening of January 10, 2007. Five men, including Mr Hennessy, lost their lives in the tragedy just a few miles from shore and as they returned to harbour after a day fishing along the south-east coast.

In the High Court yesterday, Mr Justice Kevin Cross approved the €225,000 settlement for Mr Hennessy’s partner Louise Doyle and their children and sympathised with the family on their sad loss in such a terrible tragedy.

Ms Doyle had been engaged to Mr Hennessy for several years and they were planning a summer wedding at the time of his death.

The trawler disappeared just after another fishing boat also returning to shore received a call on the VHF radio from Mr Hennessy to say: “She had breached on me. Stand by.”

Despite an intensive coast and sea search which lasted for weeks, a navy dive and the subsequent lifting of the Pere Charles from the seabed, the bodies of Mr Hennessy and crewmen Andrei Dyrin, aged 32, Pat Coady, aged 27, Billy O’Connor, aged 52, and Pat Hennessy, aged 48, were never found.

In the High Court, Ms Doyle sued Michael Walsh of Arthurstown, New Ross, Co Wexford, the owner of the Pere Charles.

Mr Hennessy had gone off to work in the early morning and Ms Doyle had spoken to him at lunchtime and he said he was very busy. Later that evening, she was told the boat was missing.

Ms Doyle waited with other family and community members at the quayside at Dunmore East for news of the trawler.


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