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'gentle soul' Funeral of tragic swimmer Daire Conlon takes place in Co Donegal

The Leaving Cert pupil died on Monday while swimming off Arranmore Island

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Daire Conlon

Daire Conlon

Daire Conlon

A Co Donegal island came to a standstill today as hundreds gathered for the funeral of drowning victim Daire Conlon.

The 18-year-old Leaving Cert pupil died on Monday afternoon last when he went swimming at Leabgarrow Beach on Arranmore Island.

A large crowd gathered outside St Crone's Church on the island today with others inside to say a final farewell to Daire.

Offertory gifts commemorating his short life including a football were placed at a table in front of the altar.

Rev John Boyce remembered the life and times of the young man whose life was ended so prematurely.

He thanked the many people who had sympathised with the family and the many who had gathered in the church, outside in the cold and online.

Among the mourners were Daire's mother and father, Claire and Derek and brothers Conor and Sean and extended family.

A special prayer was also offered by those who came to Daire's assistance including the paramedics, the lifeboat crew and local men Conor Ward and Michael Bonner who were at the scene.

Prayers of the faithful were read by family members while the hymns included 'Be Not Afraid.'

A special tribute from Daire's school Gairmscoil Mhic Diarmada posted online said "It is with a heavy heart that we say our final goodbye to our beloved Leaving Cert student Daire.

"We are thinking now of his family, friends, fellow students, teachers, support staff and the entire island community.

"We pray for comfort at this sad time. May God have mercy on his gentle soul."

After the funeral mass Daire's remains were taken to the adjoining cemetery for burial.

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