Grieving sister tells of tragic brother who was 'beautiful inside and out'
A young man who went missing before Christmas and was found dead last Thursday has been remembered as "a beautiful person, inside and out".
The sister of law student Michael Bugler told mourners at his funeral of her pain that she has lost her "baby brother" and will never again be able to share jokes with him.
Laura Bugler's emotional tribute was read to a packed St Peter & Paul Cathedral in Ennis, Co Clare, by Fr Jerry Carey.
"I am not even used to Michael being gone yet - I am so overwhelmed with emotions," Laura said, adding that her brother "will forever be in my heart".
Michael had been missing since December 18 when he was last seen at 1am after he left The Quay's pub in Galway city.
The 20-year-old's body was recovered from waters off Oranmore, Co Galway, on Thursday.
He is survived by his heartbroken parents Connie and Harry.
During the almost three-week search, his sister Laura posted Facebook updates on its progress.
"An awful lot of people have mentioned the lovely, heartfelt, dignified way Laura kept people motivated to do the one thing that you wanted - to bring Michael home," priest Fr Carey told mourners before reading out her tribute.
"Anyone who knew Michael knew how much he loved his family - he was a beautiful person, inside and out. I am so incredibly grateful and blessed to have shared this precious life as his sister," she said.
"It was only a short life and it was filled with love and laughter, with so many amazing moments. When we were younger, our days were filled with our own private jokes, much to the annoyance of our parents. It saddens me to think that I can no longer share these jokes with Michael."
She said he was "loved by everyone" and that his friends and family will miss his "lighthearted personality".
"Michael loved, and was loved, by many - and that has been evident to his family over the past weeks by the numbers of people who were there so give support from near and far. He had such a good spirit and a huge heart."
At the end of mass, Laura read the words of a poem 'Dear Parents…' by Christy Kenneally, that includes the line 'There are many who have lived long lives and have not been loved as me'.
During the offertory procession a snooker cue, golf clubs, favourite toys from earlier years, school tops and photos of Michael and his family were offered up. He was later laid to rest yesterday at St Finian's cemetery in Quin village.