Angler Daryl Burke a ‘great, decent family man’

Daryl Burke
Daryl Burke

The funeral of a tragic family man who died in a boating accident is to be held this Thursday.

Daryl Burke, 30, was one of two men who lost their lives on a lake in the Republic.

The service for Mr Burke is to be held in St Columba’s Parish Church, Loughgall Road, in his home town of Portadown at 2pm on Thursday.

The funeral arrangements are being made by Milne Funeral Services – a firm which Mr Burke coincidentally happened to have worked for shortly before his death.

Owner of the funeral directors, Ian Milne, said the deceased was an “archetypal family man, who worked hard to provide for them”.

His son Stuart had known him for years, and over the past six months he had become acquainted with him too.

Around two weeks before the accident, Mr Burke – a father of three whose wife is pregnant with a fourth child – had begun doing some part-time work for Mr Milne, helping out with cementing graves.

Mr Milne said he expects a big turnout at the service, which is open to all to attend.

“He was a great family man,” said Mr Milne.

“He spent his spare time with his family – more credit to him.

“He was generally a good, decent man; and there are not many about these days.”

The service is expected to be led by Church of Ireland canon Bill Adair.

Mr Burke’s body had been brought back to Co Armagh on Sunday night.

He was one of a trio of fishermen involved in the incident on Lough Ree, Co Westmeath.

They had set out on to the lake on Thursday, March 20, and had reportedly been en route to an island to set up camp when disaster struck.

A large-scale search was launched amid concerns for the group’s safety.

David Warnock, 27, was rescued from the water, but later died in hospital.

His funeral was held on March 24.

John Trimble, 60, was also rescued, and later returned to the lough to help aid the search for Mr Burke.

The trio were all members of Portadown Pikers angling club.

The matter was also raised in the Northern Ireland Assembly yesterday, when DUP MLA Sydney Anderson (Upper Bann) told the chamber: “I want to pay tribute to all who were involved in the search and recovery operation at Lough Ree.

“We are so grateful to them for all they have done.”