The body of Antrim camogie star Karen Coyles has been recovered off the coast of Scotland. The player from the McQuilans club had been missing since disappearing on the night she skippered her team to All-Ireland Sevens title.
Coyles(47) was last seen on the 11th September. When she failed to turn up for work at the University of Ulster’s Research Institute in Coleraine, her colleagues raised the alarm. Despite extensive searches around Ballycastle Harbour and the Rathlin Island area, no sighting of Ms Coyle was reported. Her car was later discovered at the nearby McQuilans GAA grounds.
A body which was washed up on the Mull of Kintyre on Thursday has now been confirmed to be that of Ms. Coyle. Police in Scotland have been in touch with the Coyle family and informed them once the body was identified over the weekend.
A spokesman for the family said: “We are devastated at the loss of a beautiful, talented and beloved daughter, sister, sister-in-law, aunt and friend but are comforted in the knowledge that Karen is now safe in the arms of her beloved mother and will always and forever be in our hearts.
“We are eternally grateful to the Community Rescue Service, PSNI, Coast Guard, RNLI Redbay, Dundalk Sub-Aqua Search and Rescue, Mourne Underwater Search Team, Erne Search and Recovery Team, Ulster Seaplane Association and local boatowners who were relentless in their endeavours to find Karen.
“There are no words adequate to express our gratitude to McQuillan’s GAA Club, which opened its doors providing a safe haven, comfort and sustenance to family, friends and searchers.”
Professor Hugh McKenna from the University of Ulster said that he was ‘saddened and shocked to hear of Karen’s death.
“She was a highly valued, popular and respected member of staff who made an excellent contribution to the work of the School of Biomedical Sciences Research Institute,” he said.
“Our thoughts and prayers are with Karen’s family at this tragic time.”