A mother of two died after rescuing her son from a lake in Co Cavan on Wednesday night.
The woman, named locally as Natasha Core, who was aged in her late 20s, jumped into the water at around 8.30pm moments after seeing her nine-year-old son get into difficulty while out swimming in Loch Gowna.
It is understood after rescuing the child, she herself got into difficulties in a dangerous stretch of water on the outskirts of the Co Cavan village.
“It’s very sad,” said one local man this afternoon.
“No one swims in that particular part of the lake. There are steep shelves there and had they have gone up further to one of the other inlets those shelves may not have been there.”
A major search operation got underway shortly after 9pm when the alarm was raised with several units of gardaí, fire brigade personnel, civil defence and the Coast Guard Helicopter all being involved. The young woman’s body was discovered a short time later around 15 to 20 feet from the shoreline.
It is believed Ms Core, who is not originally from the area, had been living locally for some time. “You would always see her out with the kids,” added another local woman.
“She would have been very quiet. You would say hello to her and she would say hello back, but she was so dedicated to those kids and would have done anything for them.”
Gardaí said they were treating it as a “swimming accident”.
A post mortem on the young woman’s body is expected to take place at Our Lady’s Hospital in Navan.
The woman was one of three people to drown in separate swimming accidents on Wednesday.
In Co Leitrim, a man in his 70s who was snorkelling at Spencer Harbour, Drunkeeran, failed to return to the surface.
His body was recovered from the water a short time later by local emergency services.
Gardaí said the Coroner has been notified and the body of the man has been removed to the mortuary at Sligo University Hospital for a postmortem examination.
In Co Fermanagh, a man in his 50s died after entering a lough. Police confirmed they were called to an incident at Lough Melvin on Wednesday.
A PSNI spokesman said: “Police can confirm that a 55-year-old man has tragically died following an incident in the Lough Melvin area of Fermanagh.
“It was reported that at around 10am, a man had gone into the water in the area.
“Officers attended the scene along with other emergency services colleagues, including the Northern Ireland Fire & Rescue Service and Northern Ireland Ambulance Service.
“The man was treated at the scene where he tragically passed away.
“The death is not being treated as suspicious at this stage.”
The Fermanagh incident comes just days after the death of teenager Jay Moffett who entered a lake in the Canal Court area of Scarva in Co Down. – Additional reporting PA