Belfast Telegraph

Divers to return as Lough Ree search goes on for missing Northern Irish angler

BY VICTORIA O’HARA

The search for a missing Northern Irish angler after his boat capsized is expected to resume again today after it failed to locate the 30-year-old father of three.

More than 30 divers have searched a lake in the Irish Republic for missing Co Armagh man Daryl Burke, whose wife is expecting their fourth child.

Some 200 people including fishermen and the Lough Ree lifeboat also joined the operation.

Mr Burke from Portadown, has not been seen since Thursday after a boating accident on Lough Ree in Co Westmeath.

He was part of a six-man expedition from the Portadown Pikers angling club who left Hodson Bay on two 15ft Dell Quay Dory flat-bottomed vessels at around 3pm on Thursday for a pike-fishing and camping trip. One boat capsized sparking a rescue operation.

A friend, David Warnock (27), from Richhill, Co Armagh, died after being rescued from the lake.

A third man John Trimble (60), is in a critical condition in Portincula Hospital in Ballinasloe but has regained consciousness.

Mr Burke, who had been battling testicular cancer for 10 years, had been given the all clear last November and relatives say they have been left devastated.

Speaking from the search scene yesterday, relative Gary Davidson said: “I'd like to thank everybody that has come out to support the family,” he told the BBC.

Mr Burke’s mother Denise said she knows he is not coming home.

“I feel for his wife and his kids and the baby on the way he's never going to get to see.”

His wife Louise is expecting their baby girl in May.

Mr Warnock was originally from Armagh but lived in Markethill with his fiancee Sandra Kerr and four-year-old son.

The former captain of Armagh Hockey Club was unconscious when taken from the water on Thursday but died in hospital.

The store manager at SDG Construction Technology in Armagh was chair of Portadown Pikers.

Hundreds of people attended a vigil in Portadown on Saturday night in support of the families affected by the tragedy.

MLA Sydney Anderson said: “The number of people that attended here on Saturday was testimony to the way that people are thinking right across the community.”

Tributes have poured into Facebook from friends, family and fellow anglers.

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