Body found in US lake is son of former MEP

 

A BODY found drowned in a lake in Georgia in the US has been identified as that of the 22-year-old son of former Independent Munster MEP and disability campaigner Kathy Sinnott.

Kevin Sinnott, a final year philosophy student at the Southern Catholic College, in Dawsonville, Georgia was swimming with friends at a lake on a golf course adjacent to the campus when he got into difficulty on Monday.

A body recovered from the lake by divers on Tuesday was yesterday identified as being that of the young Corkman.

Ms Sinnott (58), a mother-of-nine, flew with two of her sons from Cork to Atlanta, Georgia on Tuesday where she was met by a representative of the Irish Consulate in New York who are providing support to her and her family.

Dawson county chief of emergency services, Lanier Swafford, said Mr Sinnott went to the lake at the Gold Creek Golf Community on Monday night with six of his college pals.

He and two others decided to go in for a swim.

“A bit out from shore, the witnesses saw Kevin get into trouble. The other two males in the water attempted to help him to shore but were unsuccessful. He went under and did not resurface,” he explained.

Chief Swafford confirmed that Kevin’s body was recovered by divers at 2pm on Tuesday some 30 feet from shore in about 20 feet of water.

“I would like to clarify that this was not a storm-related death, although we have had storm-related fatalities in Georgia over the last few days,” he added.

Mr Sinnott’s body was taken to the state medical office of Atlanta where an autopsy took place yesterday.

A native of Chicago, Kathy Sinnott moved to Ireland in 1970 with her former partner, traditional musician Declan Sinnott.

Ms Sinnott ran for a seat in Cork South Central in the 2002 general election which she lost by only a handful of votes. She was successfully elected as an Independent MEP for Ireland South in the 2004 election but she lost her seat last June to Labour’s Alan Kelly.

Ms Sinnott is also chairwoman of the Hope Project, an Irish charity organisation she founded in 1996, which supports people with disabilities and their families.

Pádraig Hamilton, manager and former principal of Hamilton High School in Bandon, Co Cork, where Kevin was a pupil, said yesterday: “Kevin was a good natured boy and well brought up. He was popular with his teachers and schoolmates alike.

“May I express my deepest sympathies to his parents and family.”