There is widespread sadness among the community in Coosan and Athlone after the body of missing local woman Kathleen Reilly was located on Tuesday evening (June 21 ).
A major search had been under way for more than five days for the 74-year-old woman, who had been last seen near the Primary Care Centre in Clonbrusk last Thursday afternoon.
On Tuesday evening, Kathleen's remains were found close to the shore at Coosan Lough by a local fisherman, and were removed to the morgue at the Midland Regional Hospital in Tullamore, where a postmortem was to take place yesterday (Wednesday ).
Gardaí are treating her death as a tragic incident, and have thanked the public for all their assistance.
Members of Athlone Sub Aqua Club, the RNLI, Civil Defence, Gardaí, and a large number of local volunteers had been involved in the search operation.
PRO for Athlone Sub Aqua Club Pat McManus said that up to 60 members of local sub aqua clubs had assisted with the search, which was the first of its kind to be co-ordinated by the Coast Guard.
"In our group alone there were 30 people; we had a lot of divers as Coosan Lough is such a big area. We were out first on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, and the search then moved onto land with the Civil Defence and volunteers searching the area. We got a call through the Coast Guard [on Tuesday evening] at around 8pm and sent a search and recovery boat and took the body from the water," he explained.
Deputy Kevin 'Boxer' Moran, who was involved in organising volunteers for the land search, expressed his condolences yesterday to Kathleen's family and friends.
"I know the family well and had got to know Kathleen living in the same area. Everyone knew her and she was a very distinctive character. On behalf of the community I would like to offer our sympathy to her brother Paddy and her extended family."
He also praised the Gardaí, Civil Defence, sub aqua clubs, RNLI, local anglers, and all the volunteers who participated in the search.
"We complain a lot about Facebook, but after putting a call out for volunteers a huge amount of people showed up - we had 70 to 100 people out most days," he said.
Cllr Ailish McManus (Ind ), who lives in the Coosan area, was also involved in the search, and expressed her thanks to all in the community who had helped. “Our condolences and prayers are with Paddy and the extended family,” she said.