Family pay tribute to 'loving and caring young man' after tragic death in Co Tyrone lake

Fiachra Ó Faoláin died in a tragic incident at a lake in Co Tyrone
-Credit: (Image: Colm Gildernew MLA)


The grieving family of a young man whose body was recovered from a lake in Co Tyrone have paid tribute to a "loving and caring young man with a bright future ahead of him".

It's understood that Fiachra Ó Faoláin, who was aged in his early 20s, entered the water in the Carricklongfield Road area of Aughnacloy shortly after 11pm on Saturday and got into difficulty. His body was recovered from the water on Sunday. The PSNI, Fire Service personnel and Community Search and Rescue volunteers were all involved in the search.

The young man was a nephew of Sinn Fein MLA for Fermanagh and South Tyrone, Colm Gildernew and former Sinn Fein MP Michelle Gildernew.

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In a statement issued on behalf of the Ó Faoláin family on Sunday afternoon, his uncle, Mr Gildernew said: “It is with great sadness that we learn of the death of our nephew Fiachra Ó Faoláin after a tragic accident in Carrick Lough on Saturday evening.

“Our immediate thoughts are with Fiachra’s mummy, our sister Fiona, daddy Shane and his siblings Dearbhla, Roisín, Méabh, Dáithí and Dualtách and the wider Ó Faoláin and Gildernew families at this immensely difficult time. Fiachra was a much loved, loving and caring young man with a bright future ahead of him and he will be remembered fondly by all who knew and loved him.”

Sinn Fein's Colm Gildernew MLA
Sinn Fein's Colm Gildernew MLA -Credit:Liam McBurney/PA Wire

He added: “On behalf of Fiachra’s family, and our wider family circle, I want to extend our sincerest thanks and gratitude to the emergency services for all of their efforts and support. As the family begins to process this devastating and unimaginable loss, I would urge the media to respect their request for privacy at this time.”

In a post on social media, Michelle Gildernew said: “We lost our funny, rebellious, kind and generous nephew today. You were one in a million Fiachra O Faolain. May you rest in eternal peace darling, we will always miss you.”

A minute's silence was held at this afternoon's Tyrone match against Clare in Omagh's Healy Park in respect of Mr Ó Faoláin.

A PSNI spokesperson said: “Police will make enquiries into the circumstances surrounding the death and a post-mortem will take place in due course, however at present the death is not believed to be suspicious. Our thoughts are with the family and friends of the deceased.”

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