herald

Tuesday 16 October 2018

Tragedy of 90 deaths at suicide blackspot bridge

GRIM: Over 2,000 people have had to be talked down from the edge

A BRIDGE from which a tragic Dublin couple plunged to their deaths has claimed more than 90 lives.

Alexandra O'Brien (21) and Kieran McKeon (18) are the latest people to die at the notorious suicide blackspot on the River Foyle.

Searches of the Derry river were due to resume today for Kieran after his friend Alexandra's body was found on Thursday last.

 

Jumping

 

Some 245 people have been rescued in recent years after jumping into the river from the same spot where they were last seen, while more than 2,000 have been talked down from the edge.

 

Over the weekend, a man who claims to be an uncle of Kieran has made contact with rescue teams to thank them for searching for his body. There have been no sightings of Kieran since the discovery of Alexandra's body, leading to fears he jumped from the bridge.

"On Saturday, a man who claimed to be an uncle of the missing young man travelled from Dublin and met with members of the Foyle Search and Rescue.

"He thanked them for their help but did not give a name, and then he travelled back to Dublin," a local source said. A post-mortem has still to be carried out on the body of Alexandra before her body will be released to her family.

She was described as a "vulnerable" young woman and is thought to have been in St John Of God Hospital in Stillorgan, Dublin, in the days before she went missing.

When contacted by the Herald, the hospital would not confirm or deny that either Alexandra or Kieran were patients at the facility. The PSNI would only say that O'Brien had left "a Dublin hospital" on Wednesday before travelling to Derry. She stayed in the City Hotel in Derry with Kieran in the hours before her personal belongings were found at the bridge.

 

Hotel

Other guests said they did not appear in any way distressed or 'out of sorts' in the hours before they went missing. The PSNI is now trying to establish where the friends met each other.

Guests at the hotel said the young couple seemed "like any other happy visitors".

"They seemed perfectly fine and there was nothing to suggest there was anything wrong. They were not distressed in any way," said one source.

cfeehan@herald.ie

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