Parade cancelled in Castletownbere after death of fisherman

Bere Island native John McCarthy was described as a ‘quiet, unassuming man’

John McCarthy, who was in his late 50s, drowned when he fell into the sea when returning to his trawler. File image:  Dara Mac Donaill

John McCarthy, who was in his late 50s, drowned when he fell into the sea when returning to his trawler. File image: Dara Mac Donaill

 

The St Patrick’s Day Parade in the west Cork town of Castletownbere was cancelled as a mark of respect to a local fisherman who lost his life when he fell into the sea in Co Donegal earlier this week.

John McCarthy, who was in his late 50s, drowned when he fell into the sea when returning to his trawler, Menhaden as she was moored up in Killybegs harbour in the early hours of Thursday.

The alarm was raised when Mr McCarthy failed to appear for breakfast and a search was launched and his body was recovered by the Killybegs Coastguard crew early on Thursday afternoon.

Mr McCarthy was the engineer aboard Menhaden and had been fishing with its skipper, Larry Murphy for almost 40 years, regularly making the trip northwards to fish for herring and mackerel off Donegal.

A native of Bere Island, Mr McCarthy, who lived at Rodeen in Castletownbere, is survived by his wife, Rita, daughter, Debbie, sons, Shane and Mikey and grandchildren, Danny, Jack and Alice.

Former editor of The Skipper, Niall Duffy paid tribute to the late Mr McCarthy, describing him “as a quiet unassuming man - he was well known and well liked here and Castletown is in shock over his death.”

“And the people of Killybegs paid him a fine tribute too - a piper led the cortege as the hearse carrying his remains left the town to make the long journey back down to Castletown,” said Mr Duffy.

“And as the hearse passed by his boat, Menhaden, local fishermen and members of the Killybegs Coastguard formed a guard of honour to pay their last respects to a fellow fisherman and seafarer.”

Mr McCarthy’s requiem mass will take place at noon on Tuesday at St Michael’s Church of Bere Island.