'˜We never gave up'

Relatives have spoken of their relief after it was confirmed today that a body removed from the River Foyle earlier this week was that of Derry teenager Dean Millar.

Friday, 21st April 2017, 11:28 am
Updated Tuesday, 9th May 2017, 6:50 pm
18-year-old Dean Millar from Creggan.

The family received official confirmation on Saturday morning following tests conducted in Belfast over recent days.

Dean’s remains were recovered from the banks of the River Foyle on Tuesday evening, five and a half weeks after the 18-year-old from Creggan went missing.

An autopsy and process of identification have now been carried out by experts.

Dean’s uncle Paddy McDaid said: “Today was the day. We have now had it confirmed that it is Dean.

“We should have him home by tomorrow and the funeral details will be released later.”

Mr McDaid spoke of the bitter sweet emotions as the family prepare for Dean’s funeral, now that their relentless, daily search for Dean along the River Foyle alongside professional teams and a large group of volunteers, finally resulted in him being brought home.

“You don’t know what way to be this morning, happy or sad,” he said.

“As much as we knew it was him, until it’s officially confirmed you were sitting in limbo.

“It is a massive relief in a way because you are sitting in anticipation.

“We can start the grieving properly now. The search kept you going and the grieving is the next stage and it affects everybody in different ways.”

He added: “Today was the day. We never gave up, we kept fighting through and everybody was there from day one. The whole town came to a standstill for us and people were out and those that weren’t sent messages and thoughts to us.”

A PSNI spokeswoman said today: “The body recovered from the banks of the River Foyle on Tuesday evening April 18 has been confirmed as that of Dean Millar.”