Northern Ireland

Sean McNair's family 'relieved' after body recovered

Sean McNair
Image caption Sean McNair drowned in Lough Swilly. (Pic courtesy of Derry News)

The family of a missing Londonderry teenager are "relieved" that his body has been recovered and they can now bury him at home.

The body of Sean McNair, 17, from Creggan, was found on Sunday - eight days after he drowned in Lough Swilly, County Donegal.

SDLP councillor Jim Clifford was with the McNair family when Sean was taken from the water.

"They are relieved that they got the body," he said.

"It brings a closure to it. It was very emotional and sad.

"I was talking to the mother. She was devastated, but came around when she realised she could bury her son."

Father Stephen McLaughlin, who also knows the McNair family, said they are now concentrating on planning Sean's funeral.

"The abiding mood yesterday was one of relief," he added.

"It has been such a long week. They are certainly grateful there was a successful outcome to the search. They can now move things on," he added.

Image caption Diving teams, the coastguard and local people took part in searches for a week

The Malin Head coastguard said the teenager's body was recovered at about 1530 BST on Saturday.

Diving teams, the coastguard and local people had been taking part in searches for over a week.

Sean jumped from Rathmullan Pier last Saturday with friends while celebrating his cousin's 18th birthday, but was swept away by strong currents.

His mother Jackie McNair had previously spoken of her desire to get her son "out of the water" so she could lay him to rest in Derry.

Father McLaughlin said: "There's been so much anguish over the past week or so. The wait is over.

"The family were there each and every day with the awful sense of hoping and waiting."

He said Jackie was "immensely grateful" to all those involved in the search for the teen.

"The worst in circumstances has brought out the best in human nature.

"For Jackie, his mother and the family, they have found great strength through the support of people in Rathmullan where it happened and in Creggan.

"People have really rallied around them," Father McLaughlin said.

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