herald

Friday 9 December 2016

Tributes after Irishman drowns on Thai holiday

Tragedy

a fundraising page set up to help the family of a young Irishman who drowned in Thailand has collected more than €25,000 overnight.

David Houlihan (21) went missing on his way back to his hotel in Koh Samui on Monday night.

David, from Dungarvan, Co Waterford, had stopped in Thailand on his way to visit friends in Australia when he went missing.

Family friend Mary Fitzpatrick set up the YouCaring fundraising page "Helping to bring David home" following the tragedy.

It has raised just over €25,000 so far from 725 support- ers and has been shared almost 3,000 times on Facebook.

tremendous

"A collection to help the lads at this time. David's family are looking after everything but we would love to show our support. Any and all donations welcome," reads the appeal.

The family were notified yesterday morning that David's body had been found.

A keen GAA player, he lined out for Dungarvan last Friday before flying out on Sunday.

Dungarvan GAA chairman Tony Ryan said David was a "tremendous clubman" and was well-liked in his community.

"He played for us last Friday night and he scored a point for us in a championship match," said Mr Ryan.

"He left on Sunday to go over to see some very good friends he has in Australia.

"He had a huge range of great friends from within our club, our rival clubs and everywhere, really. David was very well liked.

"He played soccer with Lismore and had recently taken up golf and would play in golf days at the club."

The club arranged a gathering of its teams last night to pay their respects.

"He was such a great character. One of the best things about him was that he was able to make friends everywhere," said Mr Ryan.

"His best mates were from other clubs. The guy he went to Thailand with was from one of the local rivals and they couldn't have been closer."

The Houlihan family suffered another tragedy in recent years.

David's mother, Bernie, died in 2011 after a battle with cancer, seven years after his father, John, passed away follow- ing a heart attack.

His brothers Paul and Adam made arrangements to travel to Thailand yesterday to bring home his remains.

Other brother Jonathan (14) remained at home, while Patrick is believed to travelling from the US.

The Department of Foreign Affairs said it was providing consular assistance to the family.

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