Belfast Telegraph

Drowned fisherman was to be father

One of two fishermen found drowned off the Co Clare coast was just three months away from becoming a father, it has emerged.

Neighbours and friends Noel Dickinson and Michael Galvin, from the small fishing village Quilty, died after their boat sunk on Monday.

Their bodies were recovered from the sea near Spanish Point, less than 12 hours after the body of farmer and poet John O'Leary was found off Cod's Head, on the Beara peninsula in west Cork. The father-of-three died in a separate sea tragedy after his boat capsized while out sailing with his 17-year-old son Christie.

In Quilty, the tight-knit community was left shaken by the deaths of father-to-be Mr Dickinson, who was in his 30s and from Seaview Park, and 63-year-old Mr Galvin. The 12m (39ft) fishing boat, Lady Eileen, was reported missing last night when the men failed to return to the village.

It is understood Mr Dickinson's partner is six months' pregnant with their first child.

An Irish Coast Guard spokeswoman said the Kilkeel lifeboat and Burren sub-aqua unit found the bodies after midday. They have been brought to hospital where they will be formally identified and a post-mortem examination will be carried out.

Pat Cooney, who owns the only pub in the village, The Quilty Tavern, was among the men's family and friends as they waited at the pier in Seafield near Quilty as the bodies were brought in.

Nets, debris and fishing gear were recovered from the surface. The boat sunk to the bottom of the 85ft-deep water.

"They were two lovely men, I knew them very well," said Mr Cooney. "Michael was a true gentleman and a very experienced seaman. I don't know what could have happened out there."

He said that Mr Galvin, a strong GAA supporter, was well known and respected in the area. He said his wife Liz and three children, two sons and a daughter living in Australia, will be heartbroken.

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