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Sexton's cousin (14) knocked out after diving off 50ft ledge

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 Jonny Sexton. Photo: Sportsfile

Jonny Sexton. Photo: Sportsfile

Jonny Sexton. Photo: Sportsfile

A FIRST cousin of Irish and Lions hero Jonny Sexton is recovering after she was knocked unconscious while diving from a 50ft ledge.

The young woman is one of a number of individuals who got into trouble on the country's waterways over the weekend.

Kelly Sexton had been celebrating her 14th birthday with friends in Kilkee, Co Clare, on Sunday evening and was diving at the popular Diamond Rocks when the accident happened.

The young teen hit the water at an awkward angle and was knocked unconscious.

Kelly's friends quickly realised she was in difficulty and swam to her assistance.

The dazed teen was brought ashore where her friends remained with her until the emergency services arrived.

The local unit of Coast Guard was mobilised to the incident along with gardai and ambulance paramedics.

The Shannon-based search and rescue helicopter winched Kelly from the scene from where she was flown to University Hospital Limerick.

Kelly's mum Carmel has thanked the Irish Coast Guard and other services for their professionalism and has confirmed that Kelly is "shocked but recovering well".

Carmel said: "Kelly is recovering well. She's still a bit sore and shocked. She was released from hospital early on Monday morning and she's doing well.

 

Crew

"We are very grateful to all the emergency services for the wonderful job they did.

"The Coast Guard, the helicopter crew, everyone, they did a great job and they were all so professional."

Irish Coast Guard Area Officer Martony Vaughan praised Kelly's friends for how they handled the incident.

"They did everything absolutely right," he said.

"They got their friend out of the water and brought her ashore and raised the alarm."

Meanwhile, the family of a man who was pulled unconscious from the sea in Wicklow have thanked the young teen who dived in to try to save him as they prepare to turn off his life-support machine.

Peter McDonough (45) from Ballyboden in Rathfarnham, was swimming with his two young children on Sunday when 15-year-old Brian O'Sullivan noticed him face-down in the water. He dived in and alerted lifeguards as he held Peter's head above the water.

Separately the body of a young man reported missing was recovered from off west Cork. The man, named locally at Mike Power (21), was reported missing by his family and friends in Eyries and Castletownbere on the Beara Peninsula shortly before 8pm on Sunday.

hnews@herald.ie