THE community of Pullough is in shock following the tragic news that local man Aaron Buckley drowned in a swimming accident in the Abbey river in Limerick.
Mr Buckley (23) drowned after getting into difficulties when he went for a swim at 1pm on Monday last, June 10. It's understood he was last seen heading towards the mouth of the River Shannon.
A search was carried out and Mr Buckley was recovered in the Shannon by Limerick Marine Search and rescue assisted by the Coast Guard Rescue Helicopter.
He was removed to University Hospital Limerick where a post mortem is due to take place today [Wednesday, June 12].
Aaron Buckley was a former Army Private with the 1st Infantry Battalion at Sarsfield Barracks in Limerick where a spokesperson sent ''sincere condolences to the family on their sad loss.''
Locally he played corner back with Eirn Rovers GAA club where he won an intermediate football title in 2017.
Erin Rovers posted this tribute on their Facebook page: ''Aaron was a very talented young footballer and was part of the team which won the intermediate title in 2017. Not alone was he a very talented footballer he was also a very down to earth man who was always in good form and had a smile on his face. He will be a huge loss around the club not just for the football but for the man he was. He will be sadly missed by all his team mates, committee members, supporters and from all who knew him. May he rest in peace.”
Joe Gallagher of the Pull Inn in Pullough described Aaron as a ''very nice and lovely fella”.
“We are all in shock. It's a very sad thing. Everybody knew him and his granny and grandad only live down the road. All his roots are in Pullough. He was very popular among the young and in the whole community,'' he said.
Clara man and Tullamore Tribune columnist Ronan Scully penned this poem in memory of Aaron.
''Somewhere in the early morning of eternity you are running free on the Fields of Heaven with the famous battalion number shining brightly as ever on your back.
Loosed from the skirmishes, hooks and bonds of earth; unchained from all that bound you here. The years together were too brief, yet who is to measure time? Or how long is long enough?
You brought joy, energy, competitiveness, brilliance, team play, individual play, friendship, success, passion, compassion, service for your nation and whispered Hope, to those who loved you most, your mom and dad and family and especially to every Egan and Buckley that ever lived.
A single thread of darkness or loneliness pulled you beyond to the moment of now.
We cannot fully understand nor shall we try, we simply know that in the vastness of all that is, you are running free on the fields of all tomorrows.
And a lone seagull calls to you and you respond with laughter.
You carry now, no burden, no chain, no jersey pull, no round the neck tackle nor bond to hold you.
You carry only the warmth and the love of those who cared. So run free Aaron and your fellow Irish army mates and loved ones who went before you and open your arms and touch the clouds and dance with the morning sun and know that even in our tears we celebrate with you as you enjoy the hurling fields of heaven and bid you good journey, till we meet again and we will always love you and thank you for your kindness, charity, talents and passion for all things family, Clara, Pullough, Killina, Offaly and Ireland Amen.''