Scenes of grief at Seafield after body found

Naval divers return to Seafield with the body fo Stephen Mungovan - Photo: © Pat Flynn 2015
Naval divers return to Seafield with the body fo Stephen Mungovan – Photo: © Pat Flynn 2015

The body of a young man recovered from the sea in near Spanish Point yesterday on the third day of a multi agency search.

Naval divers made the discovery at around 3.35pm off Caherush Point near Quilty a short distance from where, it was feared, 20-year-old Stephen Mungovan had accidentally fallen from a cliff early on Monday morning.

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Stephen, who was a twin, was reported missing on Monday morning after efforts to contact him by phone failed. He was last seen near his home at Caherush late on Sunday night after returning from a night out with friends.

As soon as the alarm was raised at around 11.00am on Monday, Gardaí and Irish Coast Guard units from Kilkee and Doolin carried out searches.

On Tuesday they were joined by naval divers while the Shannon based search and rescue helicopter carried out several searches of the area since Monday.

Divers resumed their search early yesterday (Wednesday)  while as many as 100 family members, friends and locals also combed the coastline for any trace of the missing man.

Dozens of people were still searching for Stephen when news that a body had been found filtered out. Car loads of people, many wearing high visibility jackets, began to arrive at the pier while others made the journey on foot.

Photo: © Pat Flynn 2015
Grieving friends gather at Seafield Pier after Stephen’s body was recovered – Photo: © Pat Flynn 2015

The body was recovered to the pier at Seafield by the naval service while a doctor boarded the boat and formally pronounced the man dead.

Locals assisted with traffic management as family and friends continued to arrive at the pier.

At 5.00pm, the body was removed from the scene by hearse and taken to University Hospital limerick for a postmortem examination.

Kilkee Coast Guard officer-in-charge Martony Vaughan thanked those who took part in the search.

“We are happy that we have recovered this young man because the weather is due to deteriorate from Thursday and that would have made things very difficulty. We are also very grateful to all those who assisted in the search over the past few days,” Mr Vaughan said.

The operation involved An Garda, Naval Service Diving Section, Irish Coast Guard units from Kilkee and Doolin as well as Clare Civil Defence.

Members of the Irish Two Surf Rescue Club searched Spanish Point Bay on jet-skis while a local fishing boat also assisted in the search.

While formal identification of the body has to be completed, the Irish Coast Guard has confirmed that the search for Mr Mungovan has been officially stood down.

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