Tributes paid to ‘caring’ young solider Ben found in the sea

The body of Private Ben Garrett who vanished on March 31 after a night out at a Galway nightclub – was carried from the Galway docks on Saturday to the devastation of his loved-ones.

21-year-old Ben, from Castlebar, Co Mayo, had been out celebrating at Carbon nightclub after marching in the Easter Sunday military parade in Dublin when he disappeared.

Tragically, his loving sister Shannon had in recent days issued an appeal to the public not to give up searching for him.  She had said how much she’d wanted to tell Ben “God bless and I love you one last time.”

Last night sister Kayleigh wrote on her Facebook:  You were the best brother anyone could ever ask for. And until we meet again… I love you Ben.

Shannon shared a very moving post on her page from a friend, who said she had sought solace at a down time, from the caring Garrett family.

In a brave move she encouraged anyone feeling down to ‘talk,’ because everyone has “someone like Ben that cares for you.”

The friend wrote:  “Ben didn’t go with the intention of putting his family and friends through the agony of searching and hoping and wondering day in day out.

Ben Garrett

“This is to tell everyone out there that somebody always cares.   Over 400 people took time to help with the search for Ben. People that hadn’t seen or spoken to the family in years turned up. They all cared.

And I can guarantee you that if Ben was asked how many people cared he would not have named 400 people. Not in a million years. Ben cared. Ben cared for anyone that needed caring for. And his family care.

“Anne Lyle Garrett, Martin Garrett, Kayleigh Garrett, Shannon Garrett and Caoimhe Garret, are one of the most caring families around. And whoever is reading this status has someone like Ben that cares for you. I can guarantee it. You may be going through your own rough patch in your life like we are now but it will get better.”

The friend continued:  “I’ve been through my fair share of rough patches to know it gets better. You just do it. You force yourself to get up. You force yourself to put one foot in front of the other and you refuse to let it get to you. You cry, scream, curse (I’m very good at that) but most of all you talk!

Talk to a relative, a friend, a neighbour, a pet or talk to me. It doesn’t matter if I don’t know you. I care.   I just don’t want anyone else to go through the torture that Ben’s family, friends and the wider community have been through this past couple of weeks. If this experience has taught me anything it’s that someone always cares.

There was another body also pulled from the Galway Bay over the weekend.  Gardaí identified Ben, but last night they were yet to release the identity of the other person.

A major search and an appeal had been carried out by Ben’s family and friends since his disappearance.

Ben was stationed at Dún Uí Mhaoilíosa barracks in Renmore, Galway. He was last seen in the Eglington Street area of Galway city at around 1.45am.

Ben was the only son of Anne and Martin Garrett from Kilnock Breaffy.


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