The family of Dungarvan man Vincent Wall, who drowned in Rome, is expected to travel to the Italian capital to formally identify his remains in the coming days.
The body of the twenty-seven year-old dairy farmer from Colligan was found on Christmas Eve, ten days after he slipped into the swollen water of the River Tiber. Rescue teams recovered his body at the Isola Tiberina, an island in the middle of the Tiber, about a mile downstream from where he disappeared in the early hours of December 13th.
Rescuers had always focused their search on the Isola Tiberina as there is a system of weirs there and the body was spotted by a team of firefighters on a boat. Though Mr Wall has yet to be formally identified, a wallet containing personal effects with his name on them was found in a pocket of his jeans.
Friends and family members devastated by the loss of Mr Wall are said to be hugely relieved that his body was recovered. A close friend said his parents, Marian and Michael, his sisters, Olivia, Gillian and Avril and his fiancée Cathy Braham were coping “reasonably well” with the tragedy, but added that it was obviously an extremely difficult time for them and a very sad Christmas. There were emotional scenes at a special Mass in Colligan Church last Tuesday and the overwhelming feeling amongst the local community is that the discovery of Mr Wall’s body will give the family some sense of closure.
It is hoped that Mr Wall’s body can be repatriated to Ireland in the next week or so. A spokesperson for the Irish Embassy in Rome said the family just wanted to take him home and now they will be able to do so. “They had left before his body was found but they will return after Christmas so that he can be formally identified. The divers and rescue teams had been working very hard but the conditions were difficult. But they have now found the body and it is now a closure for the family.”
Mr Wall had been in Rome for the wedding of his best friend, an event which was cancelled when Mr Wall went missing. The deceased had been due to marry his fiancee Cathy on 2nd January and the couple were to live at a house they built in Colligan.