herald

Friday 15 December 2017

Heartbreak as boxer Jonathan dies after dive into shallow lake

A 16-YEAR-OLD boxing fanatic died after he jumped from a high wall into a shallow lake and "disappeared" underwater for over 20 minutes.

Jonathan Mongan, who would have turned 17 in October, was swimming with a large group of friends in Killykeen Forest Park, Co Cavan, when he got into difficulty at approximately 1.30pm.

His family say he was with a group of up to 12 YouthReach learners from Co Cavan at the time of the accident.

Jonathan's grand-uncle, Charlie Ward, who was his boxing coach for three years, described Jonathan as an "incredibly handsome young man" with a "kind heart".

jumped

"I heard he jumped form some sort of high wall and never came back up. It was quite high up and after he went in he was missing for 20 minutes," he told the Herald.

Two of Jonathan's friends, who were swimming at the time, came to his aid and made repeated attempts to locate him under the water, he added.

"He went under and just never came back up. They then got the lifeboat in.

"There were ten or tweleve from YouthReach there at the time. The lake was probably quite shallow, but I don't 
think he banged his head or anything; I'd say he just got smothered under the water. When they found him he was gone."

Charlie said he "definitely had the potential" to become a professional athlete and represent Ireland at international competitions.

"He took part in boxing competitions in Canada in 2012.

"He was incredibly dedicated and trained for two hours a day, three nights a week.

"In one year he had twelve contests and he won nine of them; that shows you just 
had good he was and when he was coming up to championship, he trained five nights a week.

"He had been with YouthReach for three years and really enjoyed it, particularly the football. He was a lovely man who wouldn't harm anyone; he'll be greatly 
missed by everyone who knew him."

A statement from Cavan/Monaghan Educational Training Board - which runs the YouthReach programme - said it "deeply regrets" Jonathan's death and expressed its 
"deepest condolences to the family and friends of the deceased."

"We are providing counselling to the learners and their families. The Department of Education and Skills have 
been informed of the tragic accident.

Jonathan is mourned by his parents Teresa and John Paul, and is one of four children,

hnews@herald.ie

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