Eoghan Dalton Reports
A man has designed a touching tribute to his late father five years after he went missing in Co Waterford.
50-year-old John Gear, from Knockboy, was last seen early Wednesday morning, 15 January 2014, in the Knockboy area of Waterford and was reported missing later that evening. The father-of-five had failed to return from his work with Waterford County Council and was last seen wearing a navy council bomber jacket and blue denim jeans. His son John Jr has now created a replica of Brownstown Head, the location where John Sr’s car was discovered by searchers.
Coast Guard units from Tramore and Dunmore East, the lifeboat from Tramore community rescue, and a Coast Guard helicopter, along with the Waterford Marine Search and Rescue and Mallow Search and Rescue.The memorial crafted by John Jr is at his Dunhill home with a walkway leading to the flowerbed, where the replicas of the Brownstown head and pillar lie. John did the project as part of RTÉ programme The Big DIY Challenge which finishes up tonight (Tuesday).He had ten days to get the work done, as part of the show’s challenge to contestants, and was able to meet it head on.
“It was always kind of an idea I’d had,” he told the Munster Express. “There’s a lot of space in the garden and when the producer was there with the programme, it was an opportunity.”It wasn’t an easy task however. No machinery was allowed, meaning everything had to be done by hand, including with the 14 tonne of stone involved in the tribute.John Jr, who is a carpenter by trade, found himself persevering through several late nights last April to get the work finished on schedule. “I was staying up until 11pm and midnight to make sure it was done on time.” He also thanked Doyle’s concrete and Heiton and Buckley builders providers for the materials they helped provide for the memorial.Following completion, the family was able to unveil the work to friends and relatives of the late John Gear. “Everybody would have known him. He worked in the Glass Factory for 25 years and then at the County Council in Tramore,” John Jr said.