Daryl Burke’s family bring tragic angler home after two-week lough search

Daryl Burke with wife Louise
Daryl Burke with wife Louise

The wife of missing angler Daryl Burke who remained for weeks at Lough Ree until her husband’s remains were recovered, last night brought him home to Co Armagh.

The body of the 30-year-old from Portadown who went missing on March 20 during a fishing trip with two friends in Co Westmeath, was found on Saturday afternoon around 500 metres from where their boat was last week located. He was later formally identified.

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

The third fisherman, 60-year-old John Trimble, survived but is still recovering from his injuries.

Mr Trimble had just arrived at Lough Ree on Saturday when Mr Burke - a father-of-three - was located.

The three fishermen who belonged to a Co Armagh angling club had been planning to camp on an island when they got into difficulties.

The Community Rescue Service, working alongside the Boyne Fishermen’s Rescue and Recovery Service, located a body at 3pm.

Sean McCarry of the Community Rescue Service said their thoughts were with Mr Burke’s family.

“The family are very relieved, they have been there day and night,” he said.

“His wife and friends have not left there for the entire period. I think they are relieved that it is coming to a conclusion.

“They had already reconciled themselves to that Daryl was not coming back to them alive.

“They already have three wee boys. She has been there the whole time.”

Louise is expecting a fourth child in a few weeks time.

“She just wanted him back,” added Mr McCarry.

“There was a large team effort from many different agencies involved in the recovery and the efforts of many different organisations came to fruition.”

The Deputy Mayor of Craigavon, Ulster Unionist Councillor Colin McCusker, said: “The people of Portadown, Craigavon and beyond have been touched in so many ways.

“My own family has been touched by this tragedy - David Warnock was my second cousin; Daryl Burke has two young children who go to school with my own children at Edenderry Primary School, and Portadown Pikers, the club to which David and Daryl belong, have been working with me to try and improve angling in Craigavon.”

Mr McCusker added: “The community is devastated by this tragedy and I know they are working hard to give as much support to the families as they possibly can.

“The days, weeks and months ahead will not be easy, but the families affected can rest assured the community is there to support and sustain them.”