A close-knit rural community was tonight coming to terms with the tragic loss of a local farmer, missing and feared drowned in Rome.
It is believed 27-year-old Vincent Thomas Wall – who was due to be married in the new year – fell into the swollen Tiber River two days ago and was swept away.
The popular dairy farmer from Colligan, a townland around five miles outside of Dungarvan, Co. Waterford, was in the Italian capital for a friend’s wedding.
Italian authorities mounted a search operation for Mr Wall but no body has been found.
“It is just a terrible tragedy, an awful thing to happen and so far from home,” Dungarvan councillor Anne-Marie Rossiter said.
“The whole of Dungarvan is feeling for the family at this time.”
Days of torrential rain have battered the city causing the river to rise to a dangerous level.
Mr Wall – understood to be the second eldest in a family of three girls and one boy – was due to be married in January in Newry, where his fiance was from.
The couple were planning to live in Colligan where they had just recently built a house.
Mr Wall was a popular member of the small community, which has a population of around 1,000, and an avid GAA fan.
Colligan parish priest Fr Micheal Kennedy said the community was devastated.
“The thoughts and prayers of all the parishioners are with the family,” he said.
Mr Wall’s father is also a farmer, while his mother is understood to be a nurse in St Joseph’s Hospital in Dungarven.
The Department of Foreign Affairs said it was providing consular assistance to the Wall family.