Tributes paid to ‘jewel in our crown’ actor Gerry McCann found washed ashore

Dead man was being treated for anxiety at time of disappearance

Gerry McCann: his remains were found at 11.30am on Tuesday by a walker on Dollymount beach.

Gerry McCann: his remains were found at 11.30am on Tuesday by a walker on Dollymount beach.

 

The sister of actor Gerry McCann whose remains washed ashore on a popular Dublin beach at the weekend has paid tribute to him, saying “he was the jewel in our crown”.

Helene O’Cleary yesterday thanked her brother’s friends for the help they had offered her family in the period between the 47-year-old’s disappearance and the discovery of his remains on Dollymount beach on Tuesday morning.

“He was just absolutely wonderful,” she said.

“It was a privilege to have had him for 47 wonderful years. He’s beautiful inside and out. He couldn’t bring himself ever to say a bad word about anyone. I feel him with me.

“He had a unique quality of being able to relate to everyone at the level they were at. I never met anybody like him. He had a beautiful voice, very talented. He loved life. He’s with God now.”

The father-of-two had been missing since last Thursday. His remains were found at 11.30am by a walker who contacted gardaí. Mr McCann was being treated for anxiety at St John of God Hospital in Stillorgan, south Dublin, at the time of his disappearance and gardaí are treating his death as a personal tragedy.

He was last seen in Stillorgan last Thursday at about 10am and is believed to have made his way to nearby Ballsbridge.

After efforts by his family to find him and contact him were not successful the Garda made a public appeal for information on his whereabouts. It was confirmed yesterday afternoon the remains found in Dollymount were those of Mr McCann.

From Baldoyle in north Dublin, his children are five and six years of age.

He starred in Life’s a Breeze with Pat Shortt. He also appeared on RTÉ’s Fair City.