Boy (15) dies in river drowning tragedy
A TEENAGE boy has died after he got into difficulty while swimming in the River Shannon.
Caolan Webster (15) was swimming close to the Athlone Sub Aqua clubhouse beside the railway bridge over the river when he went under the water.
After the alarm was raised a frantic search was conducted by members of the sub aqua club.
The RNLI's Coosan Point unit was also dispatched.
They found Caolan and rushed him to Portiuncula Hospital in Ballinasloe.
The teenager was later transferred to Temple Street Children's University Hospital in Dublin.
But Caolan had been under the water too long and he died early this morning.
He is survived by his parents Sean and Bernadette and his older brother and four sisters.
Residents in St Patrick's Terrace in Athlone were shocked and saddened at the death of the popular Scoil Na gCeithre Maistri pupil.
One of Caolan's friends today expressed her heartbreak in a message on Twitter.
"Absolutely heartbroken. Can't believe it. RIP Caolan. You meant the world to me. Love you," she wrote.
Local councillor Kevin Moran said that the community is devastated at the loss of the young teen.
"We all awoke to the shock of the news this morning that Caolan had passed away. While we were aware of the unfolding situation yesterday we all had hope that he would survive," he said.
"Our hearts are broken and our thoughts and prayers go out to his family, his neighbours and his friends.
"No words can express the grief they must be going through," the Independent councillor added.