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Heartbreaking Funeral of young father Declan Reid who died in kayak tragedy takes place this week

The 34-year-old, who was due to become a father again, was out kayaking with his son at Ardreigh Lock near his family home last Sunday week.

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Declan Reid.

Declan Reid.

Declan Reid.

The funeral mass of tragic dad Declan Reid who died after a kayaking accident on the River Barrow will take place in Dublin tomorrow morning.

The service in St Peter Apostle Church, Neilstown will take place after Declan’s funeral cortège passes along the Carlow Road, Emily Square and Leinster Street, Athy, at approximately at 9.20am.

People are welcome to stand along the route with social distancing being observed at all times. Funeral Mass can be viewed online from 11am.

The 34-year-old, who was due to become a father again, was out kayaking with his son at Ardreigh Lock near his family home last Sunday week.

When the kayak capsized, he managed to keep the boy (8) afloat and a passer-by jumped in and made it to the riverbank. But when he returned to save the father he could not be seen.

On Saturday, Gardaí said they had recovered the body of a male, aged in his 30s at 4pm, following a search operation in the River Barrow, Co Kildare which had commenced on February 28.

A notice on RIP.ie said Declan is predeceased by his mother Patricia.

“He will be sadly missed by his son Aaron, his partner Fiona, his father Paul, sister Roisin extended family, neighbours and friends,” the notice reads.

In the condolences section one person has written: “The ultimate sacrifice - you gave your life to save your son.”

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Members of the Civil Defence search the River Barrow

Members of the Civil Defence search the River Barrow

Members of the Civil Defence search the River Barrow

“Sincere sympathy to Paul, Roisin, Fiona and extended family and friends for your sad loss,” adds another. “May Declan rest in peace.”

Another message reads: “Fiona, Aaron, family & friends. My heart breaks for you. You are in my prayers & thoughts. Fiona as neighbours & friends we are here for you. Declan would be so proud of you, you are so strong. He will always be with you.”

Scott McQuaid (23), from Athy in Co Kildare, told last week how he walking nearby when he heard the cries for help from the water. He had taken lifeguard training so was able to assist.

“We were at the lock and I heard the young boy crying for help. I barely had time to get my shoes off and went into the river, and as I got towards the middle of the river he either kicked towards me or his dad pushed him to me, I’m not sure,” he said.

“The river was fast and high, and the current seemed to be pulling everything into the middle and down towards Carlow. The boy and his dad got separated from the kayak, and I got the boy and started making it towards the riverbank, but the current kept pulling us back towards the middle.”

“At one stage I was shouting for help too. It took me around ten minutes to get the boy to the bank. He was calling for his dad, and he had taken on water, but I kept his head up and kept talking to him.”

“He went quiet for a few minutes and he was kicking in the water to help me get to the bank. When we got there we were too tired to get out. We had to stand in the water at the edge for a few minutes to recover,” he added.

“There were a few people on the riverbank, and the people in the house had called the emergency services, but we couldn’t see the lad’s dad anywhere. His father had jumped in to try to get him but he had to swim back. The current was too much,” said Scott, who had taken lifeguard training when he was younger.

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