Army private Ben Garrett will be laid to rest in his hometown of Castlebar today, Wednesday.
The body of the 21-year-old, who was stationed at Renmore Barracks, was recovered from the water at Galway Docks on Sunday morning, following extensive searches. A second body was recovered from Galway Bay on Saturday morning, in the search for missing Roscommon man Anthony Henehan.
Ben Garrett had been reported missing following a night out in the city centre on 31 March, when he was last seen leaving Carbon nightclub on Eglinton Street.
Extensive search operations followed, involving volunteers and emergency services crews including An Garda Síochána, the Defence Forces, Galway RNLI, Oranmore Maree Coastal Search Unit and the Irish Coast Guard Helicopter.
His family and friends also mounted a large-scale social media sharing appeal in a bid to find Mr Garrett. His sister Shannon posted to Facebook on Monday, thanking everyone who helped the family in their search for her brother.
“I’d like to thank everyone who has helped search for Ben over the past 18 days… the Irish Defence Force, An Garda Síochána, Oranmore Maree Coastal Search Unit, family, friends and all who volunteered, thank you. Tonight my little brother Ben Garrett will make his final journey home from Galway.”
Requiem Mass for Ben Garrett will take place at the Church of the Holy Rosary, Castlebar at 2pm today, followed by burial afterwards in the New Cemetery, Castlebar.
His family have asked that any donations, if desired, be made to Oranmore Maree Coastal Search Unit, c/o Murphy Funeral Directors, Lahardane.
The Oranmore Maree Coastal Search Unit has thanked all those who had helped in the search for Ben Garrett and Anthony Henehan.
“Our Unit wishes to thank all our volunteers, all those who have helped in the various areas of the search and those outside the area who have been travelling daily to participate. The help and support is invaluable.”
The unit also extended their sympathies to the family and friends of the deceased.
Gardaí have yet to officially identify the second body recovered from Galway Bay last weekend.
The body was discovered near Oranmore on Saturday during the search for missing Roscommon man Anthony Henehan. Mr Henehan, who is in his thirties, was last seen on Thursday 10 March entering the water at Wolfe Tone Bridge in Galway City.
Gardaí have confirmed that a post mortem, including DNA analysis, is now to be carried out.