'Tit Bonhomme' searchers honoured

Fri, Jan 18, 2013, 00:00

Members of a West Cork community which rallied around and helped with a search for the missing crew of a trawler have been named Cork Persons of the Year for 2012.

Fr Pierce Cormac and Bill Deasy from Union Hall were honoured for their role in leading the community response to the sinking of the trawler, Tit Bonhomme with the loss of five lives in Glandore harbour on January 15th 2012.

The two men were honoured today at a ceremony in Cork when President Michael D Higgins presented them with the Cork Person of the Year Award for their role in the search operation for the five missing men.

Father of five, skipper Michael Hayes (52) from Helvick Head in Co Waterford was lost along with his crewmates, Kevin Kershaw (21) from Clonakilty in Co Cork and Egyptians,, Wael Mohamed (35), Attaia Shaban (26) and Saied Ali Eldin (22).

A sixth member of the crew, Wael Mohammed’s brother, Abdelbaky Mohamed (43) a father of three survived the sinking and was found some two hours after the alarm was raised having managed to swim over a mile towards shore.

The tragedy prompted a major search operation by the statutory agencies supported by the local community and volunteers and after some 26 days of searching, the fifth and final body - that of Saied Ali Eldin was recovered from Glandore harbour.