Missing man was married less than a year

THE man who fell into the River Suir in Cahir on Saturday night had been married for less than a year, it emerged last night.

Gardaí, civil defence volunteers and members of the public continued their search of the Suir yesterday but found no trace of Michael Whelan, a local man in his 40s.

Mr Whelan was originally from a farming background in the Ballylooby area some miles from Cahir. The son of William and Mary Whelan, he had recently moved to a bungalow outside the town of Cahir with his wife.

He is believed to have fallen from the bridge at Castle Street in Cahir at about 10pm on Saturday, when weather conditions were extremely windy.

“It’s a terrible thing to have happened,” said Ballylooby-based councillor Michael Anglim yesterday. “He was a great friend of mine.”

A search for Mr Whelan got under way on Sunday morning, but had to be called off when the weather worsened. The Garda subaqua unit was called to the town. However, poor visibility made the search impossible.

The search resumed yesterday, with gardaí concentrating their efforts around the area of the bridge while Civil Defence members searched the banks downstream towards the town of Ardfinnan.

“The river is still in a heavy flood,” said a Garda spokesman yesterday.

The search was concentrated in the area between the bridge and the Swiss Cottage in Cahir, with a boat combing the stretch of river between Carrick-on-Suir and Cahir, another boat searching downstream towards Ardfinnan and a helicopter overhead monitoring the river.

Garda divers were again unable to enter the water yesterday because of the conditions.

It is believed that it may be some days before Mr Whelan is found.

A huge search is also under way near Longford town after a well-known local man went missing after being seen walking on a riverbank.

The man, in his 80s, was spotted walking beside the River Camlin at Great Water Street in the town centre on Saturday afternoon.

He has not been seen since.

The search is focused on the river and flooded fields 3km away at Lisbrack.

The Camlin has recently burst its banks in a number of places after heavy rains and hundreds of acres of farmland are under water.

Divers from Lough Ree and Longford subaqua clubs have been taking part in the search for the past two days.

Meanwhile, the search for a 21-year-old Clare man who fell into the River Fergus in Ennis on Sunday morning continued throughout yesterday.

It is understood that Dermot Molly, from Cahercalla Estate in the town, fell into the river at Club Bridge following an argument with friends in the early hours of Sunday.

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