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Gun death is second tragedy to hit family

THE family of an Irish man who was shot dead in Boston in what is believed to be a botched robbery suffered a previous tragedy when another son and brother were swept into the sea at the Aran Islands 11 years ago.

Ciaran O Conghaile (36), a native of Inis Meain, was found near his home in a pool of blood on a quiet residential street in the Dorchester area of Boston in the early hours of Monday.

He had been living in the city for 12 years and worked in the construction industry.

The last time he had been home was for his brother Michael Dara's funeral after he was swept from a pier in rough weather. His body was not discovered until a year later.

Ciaran had been worried about coming back home since because he was working as an undocumented immigrant and feared he would not get back to the US following a clampdown on border security in the wake of the 9/11 attacks.

His devastated family in Moore Village on Inis Meain learned of his death on Monday and are being comforted by family and friends.

Ciaran was seen at an Irish Heritage Festival on Sunday and it is believed he was returning home to his apartment on Adam's Corner when he was attacked.

The area is considered to be a safe neighbourhood and is popular with Irish immigrants, police officers and fire fighters.

Ciaran's body was found by a taxi driver who then alerted the emergency services.

He is survived by his parents, Micheal and Anna, sister Deirdre, who lives in Boston, brother Pol and sister Mary Anne who is a secondary school teacher on Inis.

A spokesman for Boston Police Department said a post mortem was due to be performed yesterday. However he said that it appeared that the Irish man had been shot.

Speaking at the family home, Ciaran's sister Mary Anne said her family was devastated.

"Ciaran was just a sincere, pleasant and witty man. Even though he had been over there 12 years he always kept in touch with his family here, and even on Monday my mam was waiting for a phone call from him because it was Columbus Day there, but it never came," she said.



Clever

From Boston, Ciaran's other sister Deirdre said their "hearts were broken".

Tarlach de Blacam, who runs Inis Meain Knitting company, said Ciaran worked for him as a machine operative before leaving for the US.

"He was a clever little fella but he wanted to go off and see the world," he said. "He was lots of fun, just a lovely, bright youngster. "

Mr de Blacam said the close community, with a population of around 160 islanders, was devastated for the family.

"It's pretty shocking, the second tragedy for the same family. They are just getting over the death of young Michael," he added.

It is understood Mr O Conghaile's remains will be brought back to Ireland to be buried.

cfeehan@herald.ie