Conor King’s funeral took place yesterday. Photo: Water Safety Ireland - Cork/Facebook

‘Brightest star’ is laid to rest

Mourners said their final goodbyes yesterday to “gorgeous, handsome and roguish” Conor King as he was laid to rest on what would have been his 23rd birthday.

Those who attended the funeral mass at St Patrick’s Catholic Church in Rochestown heard how Conor, who was a trained lifeguard, adored the sea and spent his final hours doing what he loved with his closest friends.

“He was our brightest star. Conor succeeded in squashing 100 years into 23 years. Happy 23rd birthday our beautiful boy,” said Conor’s parents Maura and Eamonn and sister Áine.

Conor, who was from Douglas and was an avid rugby fan and player, died tragically on Saturday evening after falling into a blowhole at Garretstown Beach near the Old Head of Kinsale where he was camping with friends.

Blowholes are common on Cork’s coastlines and can be difficult to see in low light.

Local fire services, gardaí and the coast guard all attended the scene at around 11.30pm. Shortly after, rescue divers recovered his body from the water and his remains were taken to CUH.

It is understood Mr King died instantly from head injuries sustained from his fall.

A close friend of Conor’s, who was with him at the time of the accident, had initially attempted to go to his aid but became trapped and required rescuing.

Mr King’s family thanked Conor’s friends and rescue services for their efforts and asked for donations to be made to West Cork Rapid Response or West Cork Underwater Search and Rescue rather than sending flowers.

A popular and promising biomedical engineering student at MTU, Conor’s final year project centred on a prosthetic device for children which could be adjusted as the child grew using artificial intelligence (AI).

In a letter to students and staff, President of MTU Maggie Cusack said Conor was a dedicated student who was very popular amongst his wider class group.

“He has made a lasting impression on all who knew him and will be sadly missed. My thoughts and heartfelt sympathy are with his parents, sister and extended family as well as the loss being felt by his classmates, friends and staff across the university,” she said.

Following yesterday’s funeral mass, Conor was cremated at the Island Crematorium on Spike Island.

He is survived by mum Maura, dad Eamonn, sister Áine, grandparents Dinny, Elma and Alphonsus, aunts Leona and Denise, and uncles Des, Brian and Stephen.

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