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Thursday 8 December 2016

Imelda May pays emotional tribute to cousin drowned abroad

Tragedy

Galway man Finbarr Clabby was found dead in Wellington Harbour
Galway man Finbarr Clabby was found dead in Wellington Harbour
Imelda May

DUBLIN singer Imelda May has paid an emotional tribute to her cousin, Finbarr Clabby, who tragically drowned in New Zealand.

The body of Finbarr (39) was recovered from Wellington Harbour around 10 hours after he was last seen by a friend.

The Galway man had been living in New Zealand for a number of years.

His body was discovered at 11am on Sunday after enjoying a night out with friends.

Rockabilly singer Imelda has since revealed her family connection to the tragic Irishman.

"Watched the sunset in Istanbul thinking of my poor second cousin Finbarr Clabby and his family," she said on Twitter.

"Drowned in New Zealand. My thoughts and prayers are with you."

Finbarr's older brother Dan said he was a very popular man who had a wide network of friends in New Zealand.

Comforted

"The Clabby family feel very comforted by the fact that he had so many loyal friends in New Zealand. By all accounts he had so many friends in New Zealand, there are so many messages coming through on Facebook about him," Dan said.

"Our shared sudden tragedy is made easier by the compassion shown in sympathetic messages from home and abroad.

"He was very well known in the New Zealand/ Irish community. And he was on a soccer team as well," Dan said.

A spokesperson for the Department of Foreign Affairs said it is providing consular assistance to his family.

Finbarr worked in two Wellington bars before getting a job as a product quality co-ordinator for multinational company Imperial Tobacco.

He was a regular at Wellington's The Welsh Dragon, even reportedly going behind the bar to help pour pints when it was particularly busy.

The pub paid tribute on their Facebook page.

"It is with great sadness and a heavy heart to hear about the tragic passing of one of the Welsh Bar family," they said online.

"Our deepest sympathy and condolences go to his family. The pub is in mourning. If people want to come down and share memories and a glass, please do."

His family are currently making arrangements to have his body repatriated.

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