Renewed safety appeal after more drowning tragedies

10 people have now died by drowning during recent hot spell

Irish Water Safety has renewed its appeal for awareness of the dangers of swimming in areas without lifeguards following three more drowning tragedies this weekend.

The man whose body was recovered this morning from a lake in an old slate quarry near Ahenny, Co Tipperary has been named as 65-year-old Joe Grinsell.

Gardaí said the sub-aqua unit, the Coast Guard and local rescue teams had been involved in the rescue operation. Mr Grinsell was reported missing yesterday evening at about 6.30pm after going swimming and his body was recovered from the water at about 9.30am this morning.

A total of 10 people have now died by drowning during the recent spell of hot weather.


A 24-year-old man drowned in Donegal yesterday afternoon after he got into difficulty while swimming in the sea near Ardara.

He was today named locally as Conor Cunningham from Ard Connell, Ardara. Mr Cunningham, a father of two young children, was pronounced dead in Letterkenny General Hospital after getting into difficulties at Maghera beach, which is said to be a notorious danger spot.

Emergency services were called to the area around 2pm. The man was pulled from the sea by a unit from the Malin Head Coast Guard and airlifted to Leterkenny General Hospital where he was pronounced dead a short time later.

In a separate incident yesterday, one man drowned and another was rescued after they got into difficulty in a river in the River Strule in Newtownstewart in Co Tyrone.

Irish Water Safety has made repeated appeals for awareness of the dangers of swimming in areas without lifeguards, especially in open water, and the difficulty of swimming in cold water following a series of deaths in rivers, lakes and at sea.

A woman in her 30s is in a serious but stable condition after being rescued from the River Nore near Kilkenny city yesterday.

The 20-year-old man who drowned while swimming in a lake in Co Kerry on Friday has been named as Cian O’Donoghue, from Killarney.

The student had been swimming from Reen, near Ross Castle, to Heron Island with another young man. The alert was raised at 5.20 pm after Mr O'Donoghue got into difficulty near Reen point.

His body was recovered from Lough Leane after a search and rescue operation yesterday.

The lake - also known as the Lower Lake - is the largest of the three famous lakes of Killarney.

A spokesman for Valentia Coastguard explained that despite the absence of tidal hazards in fresh water, it is more dangerous than the sea for swimmers. “There is less buoyancy in rivers and lakes due to absence of salt in the water and it is also much colder,” he said.

“It is much more difficult than swimming in the sea. It’s frustrating there are so many young people gone in this fine weather - it’s a matter of educating people really - they don’t realise the danger,” he said. “I’ve been here the past 30 years and I haven’t heard of any drowning in those lakes.”