July 29, 2021

‘His spirit is out there. Please God he’ll bring Willie home’ – funeral of fisherman who died in Hook Head tragedy

There were heartbreaking scenes as the fisherman who died at a Waterford hospital after a trawler sunk off Hook Head over the weekend was laid to rest today.

Warm tributes were paid to Joe Sinnott (65) at his funeral mass in his home parish of Kilmore in county Wexford.

Mourners who packed into St Patrick’s Church were led by Mr Sinnott’s wife Mary and children Michael, Siobhan, Bernie and Bridget, other family members and many friends and colleagues from the local fishing community.

In an emotional eulogy, Michael Sinnott thanked everyone who had helped and supported the family in recent days since his father died.

“It’s been a tough, tough few days. It’s hard, from Saturday night… but I know where he is today, he’s out there with the boys, searching, his spirit is out there,” he told mourners.

“His spirit is out there. Please God he’s able to bring Willie home to us. The bond between the two boys was unreal. I’ve said it over the last few days, it was like a link in a chain that you couldn’t pull apart.”

Chief celebrant Fr David Murphy also remembered Mr Whelan, some of whose family members were present.

“Today we keep in mind in our prayers at our Mass all of Willie Whelan’s family at this very difficult and sad time for them,” he said.

“As the Mass is about to start, the search for Willie continues. People from this area here in Kilmore and Kilmore Quay with boats, and people from Hook Head peninsula are out on boats this morning searching for Willie.”

Afterwards, the cortege made its way the short distance to the New Cemetery in Kilmore where Mr Sinnott was laid to rest.

Meanwhile, navy divers continued their search for Mr Whelan off Hook Head today, in spite of the bad weather conditions.

The divers are using sonar equipment in a bid to locate the stricken Alize trawler under water. Reports today said it is not clear when the divers will be able to go under water themselves, with more bad weather expected tonight and over the coming days.

The R117 search and rescue helicopter from Waterford and the lifeboat from Fethard-on-Sea and local boats also took part in today’s search.

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