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Poor weather hampers search for missing angler

News

78-year-old missing on Lough Mask since Friday afternoon

Anton McNulty

Poor weather conditions are hampering the search for a 78-year-old angler on Lough Mask, who has been missing since Friday.
The man, named locally as Seán Maloney, from Ballinrobe, was reported missing after he failed to return from a fishing trip on Lough Mask, after setting off from Cushlough Pier at 12.30pm on Friday afternoon.
The poor weather conditions on the lake over the weekend have limited the search time and emergency services have now given up hope of finding Mr Maloney alive. They are now treating the search as a recovery effort.
The alarm was raised on Friday evening after his car was noticed on the shore and he had not returned home. The Lough Corrib/Mask Search and Rescue team were mobilised, along with members of Inland Fisheries Ireland, to search the lake and shoreline and the Sligo-based Irish Coast Guard helicopter R118 was also dispatched.
Boat found
His boat was found washed up on rocks on the Partry end of the lake on Saturday morning and Mr Maloney’s fishing gear and lunch were found inside, along with his lifejacket.
However, inclement weather over the weekend and yesterday (Monday) has hampered the search and diving teams from the Garda and Gráinne Uaile Sub-Aqua units have had limited time to dive and search the lake. They searched part of the lake yesterday morning until midday when strong winds forced them to call off the search for the day. A cap found on the lake proved not to be his.
Mr Maloney was described as a seasoned angler who was regularly seen fishing on the lake. He was described as a ‘creature of habit’ who fished in the one area and it is hoped that his body will be recovered in this area when weather improves.
A father of three, Mr Maloney lived in the UK before moving to Ballinrobe, where he lived alone. He was not a native of the area but his sister was married in the locality.