THE father of David Gavin, whose remains were found in Canada ten months after he went missing, said at his Requiem Mass today that his family's thoughts are with the loved ones of other missing Irish persons whose remains have never been located.
“Many times on this journey we have thought and spoken of Trevor Deely, Ciarán Smyth and Paul Ormsby (crewmen Rescue 116) and David O'Sullivan from Cork who is missing in California.” Michael Gavin told mourners at a packed Church of the Holy Rosary, Castlebar.
Expressing solidarity with the waiting ones, Mr. Gavin explained: “Over the past ten months we have experienced the turmoil and pain that these families endure every single day of their lives.
“We continue to pray for the families of missing people.
“All we can do is urge them to never lose hope that one day they will return to you.”
Mr. Gavin said the support and compassion shown to the family since Vancouver-based David went missing while swimming on the Beaver River in British Columbia on June 30 last had consoled and soothed them.
He thanked the thousands across the world who contributed to a special fund set up to find David and bring him home mentioning especially the GAA as an organisation which “looks after its own no matter where in the world they find themselves.”
David Gavin's partner, Ciara O'Malley, spoke of the immense relief at the 'miracle' of being able to bring him home and expressed gratitude for those 'wonderful, kind and dedicated people' who unselflessly dedicated so much time to the search.
Ciara's final words were tear filled as she addressed the casket before the altar containing her partner's remains.
“Words cannot describe how much I will miss you,” she cried. “You really are the most amazing person. I will love you forever and always, Until we meet again, rest in peace.”
Following Requiem Mass, of which Fr. John McCormack, C.C., Breaffy, was the main celebrant, the funeral casket was brought to Breaffy Cemetery, some two miles from Castlebar, for burial.
Members of Breaffy GAA Club and the Mayo senior football team lined the route as a mark of respect to their 26 year-old former colleague.