Two families were united in grief as the first victim of the Malin Head drowning tragedy in Co Donegal was laid to rest.
Gerry ‘Malin’ Doherty was one of two people who drowned when their 16ft fishing boat capsized off the Inishowen coast on Tuesday afternoon.
Both 68-year-old Mr Doherty and his nephew, 16-year-old Thomas Weir, died in the accident.
A third man, Dessie Keenan, a relative of the two victims, managed to survive when he clung on to a fishing buoy for almost four hours.
Mr Doherty’s remains had been found washed up on a rocky outcrop close to Banba’s Crown, an estimated six hours after the small boat had capsized around midday.
Hundreds of mourners crammed into the small white-washed St Mary’s Church in Lagg, Malin, for Mr Doherty’s funeral.
Among those present were family and friends of Thomas who will be laid to rest in the coming days in Scotland.
Thomas had been staying in Derry in recent months with Mr Keenan.
John McCarter of the Lough Swilly Lifeboat, Fianna Fáil TD Charlie McConalogue, and members of the Northern Ireland Fire Service were also present.
Fr Charlie Logue and Fr Peter Devlin concelebrated the funeral Mass.
Fr Logue remarked that Gerry’s late father Patsy had also drowned almost 40 years ago near the same spot where Gerry lost his life.
He said there was some consolation for the families that one person had been saved and that the bodies of Gerry and Thomas had been found and not lost to the sea.
He paid tribute to the emergency services and the fishermen of the area who had helped in the operation on the tragic day.
Gerry’s brother-in-law John Gleeson paid tribute to Gerry, recalling how Gerry’s wife Marian often said to her husband how she would love to win the lotto.
However, Gerry always replied that having her, their children, and their grandchildren, he had already won the lottery.
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