Mayor in trip to thank angling tragedy hotel

The Mayor, Councillor Colin McCusker presents an official Craigavon plaque to Timothy Hayes of the Hodson Bay Hotel. INPT07-015

The Mayor, Councillor Colin McCusker presents an official Craigavon plaque to Timothy Hayes of the Hodson Bay Hotel. INPT07-015

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Mayor of Craigavon, Councillor Colin McCusker has visited the hotel at Lough Ree in Athlone to thank its staff for all they did during last year’s fishing tragedy when two men died.

Daryl Burke and David Warnock, members of Portadown Pikers angling club, were drowned on a fishing trip to the lough last March.

The pair were part of a six-man group who had gone for four days’ fishing and camping. The search for Daryl’s body continued for more than two weeks.

During his trip, Mr McCusker met senior management from the Hodson Bay Hotel and thanked them on behalf of the citizens of Craigavon for everything they did to help.

Representatives of the hotel were unable to attend the reception hosted by the council last October, so they invited the Mayor to visit them.

Mr McCusker said, “Clearly this trip took place on the back of an horrific disaster that took place last year when two young men, who were members of the Portadown Pikers, lost their lives on Lough Ree.

“At that time, the management and staff of the Hodson Bay Hotel did everything within their power to help the families and friends as the search for Daryl and David took place. That help was greatly appreciated and it was important that it was recognised by the people of Craigavon.”

Timothy Hayes, director and general manager of the hotel, said, “We were all deeply affected by the tragedy last year, and we did what anyone would have done for another human being in need.

“Unfortunately we were unable to attend the reception hosted by Craigavon Borough Council, but I was pleased that the Mayor accepted my invitation to pay a visit to our establishment.

“While we would all love that this tragedy had never happened, we are pleased with the ties and friendships that have been created between this area and Craigavon.”