A man who went missing and was found dead in 1996 but whose remains were only formally identified earlier this year has been buried in his native Limerick.

Denis Walsh was just 23 years old when he went missing.

He left his home on the evening of 9 March 1996, and was later reported missing.

A body was found washed up on the Aran Islands a month later, but lay unidentified in the mortuary at University Hospital Galway for 18 years, before being buried in a communal grave in Galway in 2014.

It was only in February of this year that Mr Walsh's parents were told that that body had been positively identified as Denis, using DNA evidence.

His remains were exhumed on Friday and brought to the family home that evening, before today’s funeral.

His parents, Mary and Denis, sister Anne and brothers Jim, Michael and Paul were supported by other family members as they travelled the short journey from their home to the Church of Christ the King.

After funeral mass celebrated by family friend Fr Tom Carroll, his remains were brought to Castlemungret Cemetery for burial.

He said "It has been a long vigil for the Walsh family, as they waited for the news of Denis, and we can only begin to imagine your grief and your pain during that time."

"Denis was a beloved son, brother, uncle, cousin, friend and neighbour. A very sociable person, loved meeting people, and so our sadness is great then as we say farewell, but we are consoled that we can honour him with Christian burial.

"Saying goodbye to a son, a brother, is never easy, it is heart-wrenching. We are flesh of each other's flesh, and we are bone of each other’s bone. We are all a chip off the same block, we belong together."

Denis’s brother, Michael, spoke of his love of sports - he played hurling and Gaelic football for Na Piarsaigh, rugby for Shannon, soccer for Caherdavin Celtic among others – and his fondness for animals, the environment, music and poetry.