Irishman dies on Thai holiday just before godson’s birthday

Photo courtesy of Fermanag Herald

An Irishman’s dream holiday in Thailand turned into a nightmare after he tragically died just days before he was due to return home for his godson’s birthday.

Damien Melarkey had been enjoying nearly four weeks in the picturesque Southeast Asian country when he suddenly passed away, only a day before his flight home.

Melarkey’s brother Brian revealed that Damien died last Wednesday morning, June 5, and was flying out the following day to be back on Friday, June 7. His bags were packed.

“He was coming back for his godson Cormac McEvoy’s birthday.”

Damien was excited to bring back Liverpool kits for Cormac and Manchester United kits for his other nephew, Sean McEvoy.

“He never missed coming back for his godson’s birthday – he’d even cut a week off his holiday to be back in time, depending on the date.

“It’s a massive shock to all of us. But before he passed away, he got to spend a month in a place that he loved with good friends, so that gives us some comfort.”

The 49 year old Irishman had been visiting Thailand annually for the past 12 years. He fell in love with the country during a trip with a former girlfriend and continued visiting alone after their split.

“He worked all year round to go out at this time of year. He’d built up contacts there and would always meet up with these Australian lads and an American friend.”

The group travelled together to spots like Koh Samui and Phuket.

“He loved the Thai people and the food. He was staying in a little tourist village about two hours from Bangkok when he passed away.”

A forklift driver at Mannok’s packaging in Derrylin for over 10 years, Melarkey was well-respected in his community. Enniskillen Gaels paid tribute on social media, offering sincere condolences to the Melarkey and McEvoy families.

The Irishman’s funeral will be held at St Michael’s Church, Enniskillen, at 11am next Monday, June 17. His body returned to his hometown, Enniskillen yesterday, June 13. Melarkey leaves behind his mother Bridie, siblings Brian, Anne, and Margaret, and nephews, Sean and Cormac, reported Fermanag Herald.

Thailand NewsTourism News

Puntid Tantivangphaisal

Originally from Hong Kong, Puntid moved to Bangkok in 2020 to pursue further studies in translation. She holds a Bachelor's degree in Comparative Literature from the University of Hong Kong. Puntid spent 8 years living in Manchester, UK. Before joining The Thaiger, Puntid has been a freelance translator for 2 years. In her free time, she enjoys swimming and listening to music, as well as writing short fiction and poetry.

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