Memorial for Co Meath man who died in tragic fall has disappeared, says distressed family

Memorial For Co Meath Man Who Died In Tragic Fall Has Disappeared, Says Distressed Family
Mark Gargan died after falling from an icy bridge top in Navan, Co Meath
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Louise Walsh

The family of a young man who died after falling into a river have been left distraught after his waterside memorial pieces disappeared just a week after his seventh anniversary.

Mark Gargan plunged to his death after falling from an icy bridge top in Navan, Co Meath in the early hours of November 22nd, 2015.


The tragedy sparked a three week long search for the missing 21-year-old by gardaí, various search organisations, and heartbroken family and friends.

The widespread search for the body, which was finally recovered on December 14th, near Slane, was hampered by poor weather and high water levels at the time.

Friends and family left candles and pictures at the waterside of beauty spot The Ramparts, outside Navan, during the search. The site later became a permanent memorial to Mark.

Mark's five siblings have made frequent trips down to the spot over the years to reflect and leave new candles on his anniversary each year.


However, just a week after his seventh anniversary, the family were horrified to see everything had been taken from the memorial, except a number plate which was screwed on.

"We can't believe anyone would do such a thing," said Mark's sister, Tracy Gallagher.

"Mark died seven years ago. It's like a lifetime ago but yesterday to us. Everyone in the family has been changed by his death.

"You get along as best as you can and there have been good times since but there is always that sadness, that missing piece in our lives.


"That memorial came about because for 23 days straight during the search, we spent at that spot waiting for news. We sat, we stood, we cried, we had tea. For 23 days, it was our lives.

The memorial to Mark at The Ramparts, in Navan.

"The day after he went missing, candles started appearing. His friends organised vigils. Then medals and other little things were left there.

"We visit regularly but especially every anniversary and birthday. I find it a calming spot to go to now. It's a place where you get drawn to. I'd say his friends actually visit him more there than at his grave.


"We placed new lights there on November 22nd and a week later, my dad John discovered everything was gone. Lights, angels, stars, plaques. Everything.

"Nothing was broken around. Everything was just gone, either taken or disposed of with no thought for his family. The only thing that was left was the number plate which was screwed on.

"In seven years, there hasn't been a problem with the memorial from anyone. There hasn't been any anti-social behaviour

"Mark was well-known. Everyone in Navan remembers the searches. Everyone had respect to leave his memorial alone — until now.

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"Every December 14th, we relive the whole 23 days again and the memorial helps us through it in a strange way.

"I'd hate to think anyone just took the stuff without caring that those trinkets helped so many to grieve, to remember, to love."

Tracy said the family have asked local groups and Meath County Council, but none had noticed anything.

"We have placed a few more lights and a Christmas tree again at the spot and I guess we will just have to hope they won't be moved too."

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