The brother of Bradley Lulendo has said he only learned how well loved he was in the community after his tragic death last week.
The 14-year-old was pulled from the water after getting into difficulty swimming at Burrow Beach in Sutton last Monday.
He was airlifted to Beaumont Hospital before being transferred to Temple Street Hospital where he was later pronounced dead.
There have been four water-related deaths in Ireland in the past week.
On Newstalk Breakfast this morning, Bradley’s brother Pasias Lulendo said he feels like a shell of a person after losing his younger brother.
“He was a very energetic boy,” he said. “We all know what teenagers are like these days.”
“They are more grown up that we were in our time, they are more advanced, they think they know it all, they think they can do anything.
“He was a boy with potential and a lot coming his way and he was loved very much by the community – as I can see every day and I’m learning every day.
“At this moment in time, I am more like a shell than a big brother. I’m trying to do things for him. Most of my energy is coming from him. My thoughts are with him so much.”
Pasias has set up a GoFundMe page to help the family with funeral expenses and has raised nearly €18,000 so far.
“To be honest with you, I was overwhelmed with the support of the community,” he said. “People sharing the page and sharing the awful tragedy.
“To be honest with you, people have reached out to help me so much that I am overwhelmed. I am over the moon.
“Honestly, I wouldn’t be able to do this if people didn’t love Bradley so much.”
Pasias said he is using the tragedy to raise awareness about water safety.
“I am only learning now in the last week that he has a very powerful image,” he said.
“Now what I am trying to do is use his image to raise awareness especially on another sunny day like this.
“I don’t want people to be scared. I am not telling people to be scared. I just want people to be more aware and more cautious.
“We need to know where our kids are and where are friends are when we go to the beach on these sunny days.”
Bradley’s funeral is due to be held this coming Saturday.
Pasias is holding a memorial walk for his brother this Friday evening on Burrow Beach.
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