The Waterford-based Garda who tragically died while diving over the weekend was laid to rest on Tuesday in his native Wexford. The remains of Garda Dave Hearne were removed tomorrow from his John’s Hill home to Our Lady Star of the Sea Church in Duncannon for his Requiem Mass.Tributes were paid to the off-duty Garda who tragically died after he got into difficulty while diving off Hook Head on Saturday last.
Gda Dave Hearne, who was in his mid-40s and married with four children, was diving with a Fethard-on-Sea diving club roughly 15km off Hook Head when he got into difficulty.
It is understood that he had been diving on a wreck some 70 metres down and was returning to the surface when he succumbed to the bends and lost consciousness.
He was brought to the surface by colleagues but attempts to resuscitate him on the dive boat, however they were unsuccessful and Gda Hearne was pronounced dead on the dive boat.
His body was airlifted to Waterford Airport and then transferred to University Hospital Waterford for a postmortem.
Gda Hearne, who was a native of Fethard-on-Sea, was attached to the Waterford Divisional Traffic Corps in Ballybricken and was a former member of the Garda Water Unit.
He had received recognition on several occasions for his role in life-saving rescues in previous years. “David was regarded as a hero for his work as a Garda diver, earning bravery awards for saving many lives,” said the Garda Representatives Association President Jim Mulligan in a statement. “On behalf of the Garda Representative Association, I want to express heartfelt sympathies to the families, friends and colleagues of Garda David Hearne.”
Jim Mulligan added that it was all the more tragic for the children that would be left behind by Gda Hearne’s death.
Ceann Comhairle, Seán Ó Fearghaíl, TD, Chair of the Bravery Awards Council, expressed his sadness and shock at the death of Garda David Hearne.”I was deeply saddened to learn of the tragic death of Garda Hearne in Wexford. He was a worthy recipient of a certificate of bravery in 2016 which was awarded to him for rescuing a man from the Colligan River some years earlier. “In his selfless service to others, Garda Hearne followed in the footsteps of his father, Declan, who was a bravery award recipient in 1958. My thoughts and prayers are with Garda Hearne’s wife, children and wider family at this time.”