The body of Johnny Casey, aged 35, was recovered from the Shannon yesterday morning. His wife, Sue Ellen, died over three years ago.
Family members were caring for the four children, aged between 4 and 14, at their home in Clonlong halting site yesterday.
Mr Casey had been walking a pony in the river at Plassey at around 6pm on Tuesday evening when the animal got into trouble after a surge of water unbalanced it.
According to witnesses, Mr Casey went to assist the animal and both were swept downstream.
His body was recovered at around 9am yesterday after a search supervised by Limerick Marine Rescue and the Shannon Coast Guard helicopter.
The body was taken to University Hospital Limerick where an autopsy was carried out.
The remains of the pony were found washed up downstream.
Mr Casey had cared for sons Timmy Joe and Jay, and daughters Brittany and Keley since the death of his wife.
The removal of Mr Casey’s remains takes place from Cross’s funeral home at 5pm today to Holy Family Church, Southill. Burial will take place after 12pm Mass tomorrow.
Gardaí are preparing rep-orts for a coroner’s inquest.