Tragedy was second for Bryan Whelan’s family

The death of Bryan Whelan, whose body was discovered last Saturday trapped in a cage in the River Shannon, was the second tragedy to strike his family, it has emerged

Sources close to the Whelans revealed how an uncle of Bryan’s was killed in a motorcycle accident 37 years ago.

“Bryan’s father John went through the heartache of loosing a brother in a motorcycle crash and now he has lost a son,” said a source close to the family.

“It’s unbearable to think about it. They are such a private and quiet family. They are great neighbours.”

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Mr Whelan, 29, from Bridgetown, Co Clare, along with his colleague at Irish Bridge, Timothy ‘TJ’ O’Herlihy, 36, from Castleisland, Co Kerry, were both found by rescue divers “unresponsive” in their life jackets, which had been strapped onto a cage platform that fell into the River Shannon last Saturday.

Tragedy was second for Bryan Whelan’s family

Timothy ‘TJ’ O’Herlihy

They had been carrying out restoration works to Thomond Bridge, Limerick City, when a cable holding their platform, that was suspended out over the bridge, gave way, sending the cage and the men into the river.

One colleague escaped but they were both pronounced dead later at University Hospital Limerick.

Bryan Whelan’s coffin was draped in the Broadford GAA club jersey at his removal last night, which was attended by hundreds of mourners.

Tragedy was second for Bryan Whelan’s family

A note on on Thomond Bridge, remembering Bryan Whelan.

Broadford GAA club performed a guard of honour as Mr Whelan’s coffin was removed from McMahon’s Funeral Home, Blackwater, to St Mary’s Church, Kilbane, for 12pm Mass today.

Fr John Bane, the parish priest of Broadford, praised the Whelans for finding “great strength” in their terrible grief.

Mr O’Herlihy’s removal takes place on Thursday at Tangney’s Funeral Home, Castleisland, from 5pm-7pm, followed by Requiem Mass on Friday at 11am in Castleisland Parish Church, with burial in Kilbanivane Cemetery, Castleisland.

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Hundreds mourn Bryan Whelan at funeral MassHundreds mourn Bryan Whelan at funeral Mass

Hundreds gather to mourn Thomond Bridge accident victim Bryan WhelanHundreds gather to mourn Thomond Bridge accident victim Bryan Whelan


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