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Man who died in Clare lake remembered in song at funeral

FAMILY and friends of an Ennis-based man, who tragically lost his life at the weekend after getting into difficulty at a popular swimming spot, gathered together for an emotional funeral service on Thursday.

Samir Kaul, who was originally from New Delhi in India and lived on the Kilrush Road in Ennis, died on Saturday evening while visiting Ballyalla Lake with friends.

The funeral service for Mr Kaul was held on Thursday at the Foundation Ministries Pentecostal Church in Ennis, which he had been involved with for nearly a decade.

In a fitting tribute to the 49-year-old who has been fondly remembered this week for his love of dance, the church held a Service of Song in his memory. A video showing images of Mr Kaul’s happy times with his friends in the church was also played to those gathered to say their goodbyes.

Speaking to the Clare Champion Reverend Albert Obadeyi of Foundation Ministries described Mr Kaul as “a man full of joy”. “He was always happy, always calm and pleasing to talk to. He loved to dance. He loved music so much. At the end of service he would always call us out and we would dance with him. His heart was drawn to God and he was a very peaceful man who loved the church. We just loved him so much.”

Recalling when he heard of the tragedy, Reverend Obadeyi said, “It was an awful shock, I just couldn’t understand how it had happened, we just don’t know.”

Mr Kaul’s family arrived from Galway on Sunday where they visited the scene of the accident with the Reverend. “The family were distraught, nobody expected this at all.”

He added that Mr Kaul’s loss is “very, very sad. He has been with us since 2013 which is quite some time. That is a big gap he has left now. All of the youths in the church, they just loved him. He would call them out and they would dance. Everybody just loved him, he was just a quiet, loving man.”

Following the funeral service at the Foundation Ministries, Mr Kaul’s remains were brought for puja and cremation at Shannon Crematorium.

Mayor of Ennis Councillor Clare Colleran Molloy has expressed sympathy to the family and friends of Mr Kaul.

“I think the whole community of Ennis, the county and indeed the whole country are very saddened when they hear of a tragic death by drowning. This is what happened here in Ennis at Ballyalla, it has been a long time since we have had such an incident.

“I want to express condolences on behalf of myself personally and as mayor of the Ennis Municipal District to the family of Samir, and extend those condolences to all of his friends and family in both Ireland and India. The whole community are saddened and we hope to learn the circumstances of what caused this tragedy as it is unclear.”

Mr Kaul visited Ballyalla on Saturday evening with friends, and it is understood he dived into the water at the old pier on the southern end of the lake but did not re-surface.

Young men who were in the area dived in after him and brought him shore while the emergency services were alerted. Local lifeguards, gardaí, the National Ambulance Service and Irish Coastguard rushed to the scene however despite efforts to resuscitate Mr Kaul he was pronounced dead at the scene.

Mr Kaul is survived by his parents Manohar and Usha, sister Mini Basra, brother-in-law Rajat Basra, aunts Asha, Indra and Krishna, uncles Arun, Ashok, cousins, relatives and friends in India and Ireland.

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