Prayers angler can be found

Daryl Burke, still missing after a fishing tragedy at Lough Ree in Westmeath.
Daryl Burke, still missing after a fishing tragedy at Lough Ree in Westmeath.

The cousin of missing angler Daryl Burke has told how his family have been overwhelmed with the support from people of the borough.

Karen McConville, who lives in Craigavon, found out on Thursday evening that her cousin was missing after an incident on Lough Ree.

One man, David Warnock (27) from Richhill was rescued from the lough, but died later in hospital. John Trimble (60) was also rescued and after getting discharged from hospital he joined in the continuing search for Daryl Burke (30).

All three were members of a six man team from Portadown Pikers who made the camping and fishing trip to Westmeath.

Karen said: “Initially we had some hope there might be good news, but since then it’s been horrendous, just waiting for news and knowing it will be bad. We just want him home at this stage.”

She added: “A lot of family and friends have been up and down to join the search. My mum went down on Monday with her sister Denise, Daryl’s mum, and Aubrey, his dad.

“I was talking to mum and taking to Aubrey. He was saying how unbelievable the people of Lough Ree and the surrounding areas have been.

“They’re putting up people in their homes and hotels are giving up rooms from free. There’s collections for food for the searchers and they’re out every hour of daylight.

“The family couldn’t get through this without the support from everyone at home and down at Lough Ree.”

Karen recalled a special bond she had with Daryl.

She said: “Years ago I would have babysat his older brother Michael, then I looked after Daryl when he was just a little baby boy.

“I’ve always had a real affection for him.

“He had a love for his family and a love of fishing.

“While we’re praying to get him home we’re also praying for the family of David Warnock.”