Body recovered from Donegal lough

The body of a 17-year-old Derry boy has been recovered from Lough Swilly in County Donegal eight days after he drowned.

Sean McNair jumped from Rathmullan Pier with friends while celebrating his cousin’s 18th birthday, but was swept away by strong currents. On Sunday, his body was finally recovered.

Diving teams, the coastguard and local people had been taking part in searches for over a week.

SDLP councillor Jim Clifford, who is a family friend, was with the McNair family when Sean’s body was taken from the water.

Sign up to The Irish Echo Newsletter

Sign up today to get daily, up-to-date news and views from Irish America.

“They are relieved that they recovered the body,” he said.

“It brings a closure to it. It was very emotional and sad. I was talking to the mother. She was devastated, but came around when she realized she could bury her son,” he said.

Father Stephen McLaughlin said the family is now concentrating on planning Sean’s funeral.

“The abiding mood yesterday was one of relief,” he added.

“It has been such a long week. They are certainly grateful there was a successful outcome to the search. They can now move things on. There’s been so much anguish over the past week or so. The wait is over. The family were there each and every day with the awful sense of hoping and waiting.”

Fr. McLaughlin said Sean’s mother, Jackie, was “immensely grateful” to all those involved in the search for her son.

“The worst in circumstances has brought out the best in human nature. For Jackie, his mother and the family, they have found great strength through the support of people in Rathmullan and in Creggan.

“People have really rallied around them,” Father McLaughlin added.