Man (24) died after 'stunt' jump into Liffey on night out

Tue, Aug 9, 2011, 01:00

A CORONER has issued a warning to young men of the extreme dangers of entering the river Liffey following the drowning of a man who jumped into the river “as a stunt” while on a night out with friends in Dublin city centre.

Vincent Lynch (24), Bailieborough, Co Cavan, removed his shirt and leaped into the Liffey at Sarsfield Quay, Dublin, in the early hours of February 2nd last.

A friend, David Rooney, jumped in after Mr Lynch in an effort to rescue him, but was forced to get out of the water to save his own life after his body went into shock in the cold water.

Mr Lynch’s body was taken from the water later that morning by members of the Garda Water Unit. A postmortem revealed he had a significantly high level of alcohol in his system.

Dublin City Coroner’s Court heard that Mr Lynch, who was a strong swimmer, had “pulled similar stunts” while in college in Galway and had jumped into the river Corrib at the Spanish Arch.

Alan Dunne, who had been socialising with Mr Lynch and who was with him when he jumped, told the inquest that he was “wild in nature” and an “adrenalin junkie” and that in his opinion, he was “just messing” when he jumped into the Liffey.

Garda Michael Mullen of the Bridewell Garda station told the inquest that in “some places” it was the “done thing” to jump into rivers. “In places like Galway I’ve known people to have done this and they have just been lucky,” the garda said. “It’s alcohol and being young . . . Things like this happen all too commonly.”

Colin Murray of the Howth Coast Guard told coroner Dr Brian Farrell that it was a “regular occurrence” that Dublin Fire Brigade personnel pulled one person out of the Liffey each week in such circumstances. “Unfortunately young men with alcohol think they can swim the Liffey,” said Mr Murray.

Coroner Dr Brian Farrell said he should make young people aware – especially young men who were “minded to go into the river” – that it was “a highly dangerous thing to do at any time, but particularly at night with alcohol”.

He recorded a verdict of death by misadventure.

The court heard that Mr Rooney, who shared an apartment with Mr Lynch, was on his way home from work when he saw a man jump into the river. He realised it was his friend and jumped in to help, but had to get out. He then flagged down a Garda car.

Dr Farrell commended Mr Rooney for his actions.