Moycullen devastated following death of local teenager in Croatia

Efforts are being made to repatriate the body of a young Moycullen man, who tragically drowned while on holidays in Croatia, within the coming days. Eamon Buckley from Gortahalla entered the water off the coast of Split in the early hours of Monday morning. The accident occurred at the city’s main harbour, when the young man fell off a yacht and hit his head. The alarm was immediately raised by friends and a full search was launched by local emergency services. Mr Buckley’s body was recovered at around 10am on Tuesday.

Split is a popular resort in the south of Croatia, Mr Buckley was part of a group of 40 young people from Galway who had travelled to the area for a music festival. Poignantly, his twin brother Liam was also on the trip along with 10 other teenagers from Moycullen. The group were due to return home yesterday.

Mr Buckley’s parents, Tom and Joy, arrived in Split on Tuesday night, having travelled from Galway to Zagreb. A post mortum examination has taken place and the Department of Foreign Affairs is working in conjunction with Greek autnorities and the Buckley family to make arrangements to return the young man’s body to Ireland.

The teenager had just finished his first year of a science degree at NUI Galway. He was an accomplished footballer and, along with his twin, was a member of the Moycullen Minor A football team which won the county title back in 2013. More recently he had been playing with the local under-21 team. Martin Cooke is the chairperson of the football club, and a friend of the family. He coached Eamon for many years. “Both Eamon and Liam were involved in the football club since they were eight. Along with a few other guys, we coached the lads for years. He was just an absoutely lovely fellow. He always played in the backs, he was the most reliable defender you could ever work with. In all my years coaching him, I never heard him raise his voice out on the pitch, he just went out and played football. Mr Dependable was how I would describe him.’’

Mr Cooke’s son Peter was also part of the group attending the music festival. “What can you say, the kids go off to have a good time, you never expect that something like this will happen. I spoke to Joy yesterday morning, they are absoutely devastated as you can imagine. It’s every parent’s worst nightmare. It is not the natural order of things to have to bury a child. It is going to be an extremely difficult few days and difficult going forward. We are a strong community and will do everything we can to support Tom and Joy and the family.’’

Eamon Buckley is survived by his parents, his twin brother Liam, older sister Caoimhe and younger sister Roisin. Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam dílis.

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