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04th Jun 2024

Tributes paid to politician’s nephew who died after tragic lake accident

Simon Kelly

Sinn Fein nephew Tyrone

“There are no words”.

Tributes have poured in following the death of 21-year-old Fiachra Ó Faoláin, who died after getting into difficulty in a lake in Co. Tyrone on Saturday.

Mr Ó Faoláin was nephew to Sinn Féin MLA Colm Gildernew and former Sinn Féin MP Michelle Gildernew and was from Brantry area of Tyrone.

It is understood that the man entered Carrick Lough in Aughnacloy, Tyrone at around 11pm on Saturday, June 1, and his body was recovered the following day.

The PSNI, Fire Service personnel and Community Search and Rescue volunteers were all involved in the search.

Tributes paid to politician’s nephew who died after tragic lake accident in Tyrone

Colm Gildernew issued a statement on behalf of the Ó Faoláin family, saying: “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.

“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.”

Michelle Gildernew, who was MP for Fermanagh and South Tyrone from 2017 to 2024, posted a tribute on social media saying: “’There are no words’ I’ve heard that so many times and there aren’t, but there are actions.

“Every hug, every handshake, every message & phone call, we have been comforted and supported.

“Thank you, from the bottom of my heart, for your care. Fiachra In ár gcroíthe go deo.”

In a further statement on the Sinn Féin website, Ms Gildernew, who is currently running for the Midlands North West EU constituency, said: “Our hearts are broken following the death of our wonderful nephew Fiachra.

“He was a funny, impulsive, kind and generous young man who will be missed so deeply by all of us.  My thoughts are with his parents and brothers and sisters who are experiencing the most unimaginable grief.

“I want to thank all of those people, from across Ireland and around the world, who have been in touch to send their sympathies and prayers to us. Your support means so much to the entire family at this time. 

“I hope people will understand that I will not be on the election trail in the coming days as my family tries to cope with this awful tragedy.”

A minute’s silence was held in his memory before the start of the Tyrone v Clare GAA senior football in Omagh on Sunday.

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