Tragedy strikes local Galway communities

There was tragic news for two County Galway communities this week with the fatal Boston shooting of a young Aran Island native and the loss of a “gentleman” Connemara farmer.

The tight-knit community of Inis Meain were left devasted when the life of 36-year-old Ciaran O’Conghaile was brutally taken in a shooting incident believed to have occurred as a result of a botched robbery attempt. The popular builder, who had been living in the Dorchester area of Boston for 12 years, was shot in the chest as he walked home after attending celebrations at an Irish heritage festival.

It is understood that Mr O’Conghaile’s body was found less than 500 metres from his apartment by a taxi driver who contacted the police. He had been attending the Irish Heritage Festival at Adams Village on Sunday and had been making his way home at around 1am on Monday when he was shot. When police arrived at 1.04am Mr O’Conghaile was pronounced dead at the scene.

This is the second tragedy to hit the family - 11 years ago, Mr O’Conghaile’s older brother Michael drowned when he was swept out to sea by a freak wave and it was a year before his remains were located and laid to rest. A funeral Mass is to take place in Dorchester today before Mr O’Conghaile’s remains are flown back to his native Inis Meain for burial tomorrow. He is survived by his father Michael, mother Anna, and three siblings - Mary Anne, Deirdre, and Pol Dara.

Meanwhile, gardai have confirmed that they are not treating the death of bachelor farmer Tommy King as suspicious. The 54-year-old’s body was found in a water-filled ditch at Baile An tSleibhe, near Rossaveal, by a passer-by at around 8am on Tuesday morning. Mr King, from Doire Fhatharta near Carraroe, was last seen on Sunday night having had a few drinks in a local pub. It is believed he then began making his way by foot to his sister’s house in Rossaveel.

Foul play was initially suspected and an appeal made by gardai for information. However, the results of a postmortem carried out at UHG on Tuesday evening revealed that Mr King had suffered a fatal heart attack and gardai confirmed there was nothing unlawful in the death. Mr King’s body was due to be released to the family yesterday.

Expressing his sympathies to the families and friends of both of the deceased County Councillor Seosamh Ó Cuaig described Mr King as “a gentleman”, a person who was “well-liked in the area”.

Regarding the death of Mr O’Conghaile Cllr Ó Cuaig said: “This affects us all again, Dorchester is well known to the people of Connemara and Aran Islands, there are great links, this has affected the community here.

“This is a double blow to the communities of Aran Islands and Connemara,” he said.

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