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Sunday 11 December 2016

'He drank two naggins - 30 minutes later he was dead' – Irishman (21) who lost twin urges caution

Published 28/10/2016 | 16:07

Patrick Mungovan (21) lost his brother Stephen last year
Patrick Mungovan (21) lost his brother Stephen last year

ON the one year anniversary of the death of his twin brother, Patrick Mungovan is urging people not to binge drink.

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Stephen Mungovan was only twenty years of age when he died in October 2015.

Stephen Mungovan
Stephen Mungovan

His body was found by navy divers in the waters off Spanish Point, three days after he fell from a cliff in Co Clare.

Since his tragic death, Stephen’s family has been trying to warn people of the dangers posed by drinking excessively.

Patrick recently turned 21, and laments how he didn't get to celebrate it with his “best friend” and twin. 

“He wouldn’t have usually drank that much. He had been drinking all day that Sunday with friends. He had two naggins later that night, and half an hour later, he was dead,” Patrick told Independent.ie.

“It is always the same, young people drinking too much. I have often done it myself. But there is no need to be so drunk that you don’t know where you are going. People don’t realise how dangerous it is until it’s too late.”

Patrick says what happened to his brother has had a big impact on how he and his friends view alcohol.

“Everything changed when Stephen died. Now I realise there is no need to drink jaeger bombs and shots, what’s the point? We should be able to have a few drinks with friends and get home safe.

“We were twins, we would always go out together and we always planned our way home, but that night he just had too much.”

Stephen’s anniversary mass will take place in their hometown of Quilty in Clare tomorrow night.

His death was one which was mourned by everyone in the community, and Patrick says they have recently started a youth club in a nearby village to give young people a different option.

“It is a place for young people to go on a Saturday night and hang out with friends where they don’t have to drink. It was started a couple months ago; I think they have pool tables and stuff.”

Patrick is one of six children. Stephen was the second brother he lost, after his older brother Michael was killed by a train while working on railway tracks in London in 2000.

An inquest jury in London in May 2002 returned a verdict that Mr Mungovan was unlawfully killed due to "systematic and avoidable" failures by the companies operating the train.

“Losing one is hard enough, but two, is pretty tough. It’s hard for my parents too. They would be texting me to make sure I’m okay, asking who I am going out with and making sure I have a lift home.”

In a Facebook post on Tuesday night, Patrick explained just what his brother meant to him, and wanted to highlight how dangerous alcohol can be:

“Hard to believe it was one year ago tonight, since my brother Stephen left this earth so suddenly and so unexpectedly. Words can't describe how much we all miss you each day.

“He was my twin brother, we grew up with mostly the same group of friends, and we knew everything about each other and told each other everything.

“I know that going back is not possible, however, I do go forward with him in my heart and think about him every day. He is in every part of our house and soul. There isn’t a memory that we have that doesn’t include him in it.”

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