Body of missing soldier recovered off Donegal coast

Malin Head Coast Guard confirms remains of Gavin Carey (28) positively identified

The body of a soldier missing off the Donegal coast since last week has been located by divers.

Malin Head Coast Guard confirmed the body of Cpl Gavin Carey, who was attached to Custume Barracks in Athlone, had been found at about midday.

His remains have been positively identified. The missing man’s body was located off Aughrus Head, about 400 metres from where he was last seen.

Up to 100 soldiers joined the search after the 28-year-old man went missing last Tuesday. He had been on a training exercise at Finner Camp and went swimming nearby at Tullan with four other soldiers.


Mr Carey was believed to have been caught in a strong current and was swept out to sea. A friend swimming with him was pushed on to the rocks and survived with an injured leg.

Two soldiers were given precautionary treatment in Sligo University hospital.

Malin Head Coast Guard and teams from Killybegs, Ballyglass, Killala, Bundoran RNLI, the Rescue 118 helicopter from Sligo, the Air Corps helicopter and local diving clubs all joined the search effort.

Condolences offered

A spokesman for Malin Head Coast Guard offered condolences to Mr Carey’s family on behalf of the Coast Guard and all those who helped in the search.

Taoiseach Enda Kenny also expressed his condolences upon the death.

“On behalf of myself, as Taoiseach and Minister for Defence, and on behalf of all the citizens of the State, I want to express my sincere condolences and sympathy to the family of Cpl Gavin Carey following his tragic death.

"Gavin died as a serving member of the Defence Forces and I wish also to extend my sympathies to his colleagues from 2 Brigade Artillery Regiment, Custume Barracks, Athlone, at what is a very difficult time for them.

“Gavin served his country with pride and in the unheralded manner he and all his colleagues go about their business.”

Defence Forces Chief of Staff, Vice Admiral Mark Mellett DSM, offered his condolences to Cpl Carey’s family and friends.

“‘My thoughts and sympathies are with Cpl Gavin Carey’s family and friends at this very difficult time.

“As a soldier he espoused the values we as an organisation hold dear. I would like to thank each of the agencies that helped with the search. Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam.”

Cpl Carey’s next of kin are being assisted by Defence Forces Personnel Support Services.