Sunday 19 January 2020

Search for missing John ends in tragedy in Wexford

The late John Wadding-Byrne and flowers at Kaats Strand in his memory.
The late John Wadding-Byrne and flowers at Kaats Strand in his memory.
The late John Wadding-Byrne and flowers at Kaats Strand in his memory.


A SEARCH for missing Wexford man John Wadding-Byrne ended in tragedy on Friday morning when he was found at Kaats Strand, Ferrybank.

Members of John's increasingly-worried family and friends had been searching the town and local estates since Tuesday, the day after he went missing.

He was last seen on CCTV in Charlotte Street after leaving Mooneys and heading in the direction of Redmond Square during the early hours of Monday morning.

A large-scale social media campaign was launched, with individuals and organisations including Wexford MarineWatch posting appeals for information about the missing 28 year old.

On Friday morning, his sister Emma posted that John had still not returned home.

'Our efforts so far have returned nothing. We will continue to search and hope. Your help is needed and very much appreciated, a simple share could get the right person, Please continue to share and be vigilant,' she said.

A few hours later those hopes were dashed when John was found at Kaats Strand, the same beach where Sharon Grace and her children Mikahla and Abby died in April, 2005.

Early on Friday afternoon, Emma posted: 'John Wadding-Byrne has been found not how we wished and hoped but he is back home. Thank you all so much you all will always be in my heart and prayers. Thank you from myself and my family. Rip my little brother always and forever, YNWA.'

Over the weekend, friends of John laid flowers in his memory at Kaats Strand and large numbers of mourners gathered at his family home in Belvedere Grove where he was reposing.

The loving son of Brenda, and the late Liam, John's Requiem Mass will take place at the Church of the Annunciation in Clonard at 12 noon today (Tuesday, June 20), followed by burial in St Ibar's Cemetery Crosstown.

John is survived by his mother, brother Lee, sisters Andrea, Emma and Mairead, brother in law Willie Berry, uncles, aunts, cousins, nephews, nieces, members of his extended family and friends.

John's sad death follows that of Ballygoman, Barntown resident, council employee Ger O'Reilly who was found in the Slaney estuary near near Ferrycarrig Bridge early last week.

A sombre WexfordMarinewatch said yesterday its volunteers were out once again, nearing the end of what has been a very sad week for the community.

'Our thoughts tonight are with both families who have lost loved ones this week, and we will continue to do everything we can to prevent any further tragedy along our waterways.

'If you are feeling low, Depressed, Suicidal or not in a great place, please talk to someone - a problem shared is a problem halved. Pieta House 1800 247247. Samaritans 116123.'

Gardai said there were no suspicious circumstances in either of the tragedies, the first such incidents in the harbour area for several years.

Wexford People

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