Sunday 20 January 2019

Schoolboy swept to his death while swimming in river

TRAGIC: Dean (13) had just started holiday

A 13-year-old schoolboy has been swept to his death in the River Suir in Co Tipperary.

Dean Byrne had just started his summer holidays from the local Community College where he was a first-year student when he drowned yesterday in the river, at Cashel.

It was the second drowning tragedy of the day. Earlier the body of an unknown man was taken from the River Blackwater near Fermoy, in Co Cork.

The Co Tipperary schoolboy had been swimming with pals in an area known as The Straps, at Castle Lake Cross, around 3.15pm, when he got into difficulty.


It is understood his friends could not swim and were unable to help him as he was swept away by a strong current.

But they raised the alarm and emergency services rushed to the scene.

The Coast Guard helicopter was on the scene but the rescue operation took almost an hour before the boy was winched onboard and taken to Waterford Regional Hospital, where he was later pronounced dead.

Manchester United supporter Dean was the son of Liam and Shirley Byrne, from Oliver Plunkett Park in Cashel.

His grandfather, Eddie Ryan, is a local ambulance driver, widely respected in the town.

"Initially we thought there had been a car accident," said local councillor Eoghan Lawrence.

"Our deepest sympathy goes to his family. It's such a shock and a tragedy. It was one of the first days of the summer holidays and it's just devastating," he added.

Meanwhile, gardai in Fermoy are trying to establish the identity of a man -- possibly of Eastern European origin -- whose body was taken from the River Blackwater around 1.25pm yesterday.

His body was recovered from the water near Fermoy Rowing Club.

He is described as being in his mid 40s to early 50s, about 5ft 10in in height with black hair, going grey, and balding at the front. A tattoo of the word Rangers was on the upper part of his right arm, and the tip of the index finger on his right hand was missing.


He also had a surgical scar on his abdomen. He was wearing Reebok runners; dark-blue Edge-branded jeans; a black T-shirt with 'Protect your Nuts' written on it, with a picture of a squirrel; a multi-coloured woollen jumper and a dark-blue Santa Fe-branded denim hoodie jacket.

Anyone with information is asked to contact gardai at Fermoy on 025 82100, the Garda Confidential line on 1800 666 111 or any Garda Station.


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