A little boy was fighting for his life last night following an accident at a public swimming pool.
The four-year-old had been swimming at the Leisureland public pool in Salthill, Galway, at 3pm yesterday afternoon when he got into difficulties.
He was taken from the pool and two lifeguards spent up to half an hour attempting to resuscitate him with CPR at the scene.
The pool was very busy at the time with a number of families availing of the good weather and enjoying a family day out. It is understood that the boy's family is from Galway.
Shocked parents took their children from the pool as the incident unfolded.
An ambulance brought the child to University Hospital Galway where he received emergency medical treatment. A spokesperson described his condition in the ICU as critical last evening.
Chairman of the Leisureland facility, Mr Donal Lyons, said he was "shocked" by the incident which unfolded at the beach-side attraction, saying everyone's concerns and prayers were with the boy's family.
"Out thoughts are with the family this evening," said Mr Lyons.
"From what I can ascertain the staff at the pool reacted very quickly and were on the scene immediately. Two lifeguards administered CPR while they waited for the ambulance crew to arrive. Once they arrived the child was rushed to University Hospital Galway for treatment," he said.
Mr Lyons refused to speculate about the cause of the accident, but promised a full and thorough investigation.
"I'm sure there will be an investigation launched into the incident, but our immediate concern is with the young boy and his family," he said.
"We want to get the full facts surrounding the accident before we comment, but we are very happy that the staff reacted according to the safety procedures in place."
It is understood the City Manager, Joe O'Neill, visited the pool after the incident.
Local councillor Donal Lyons said: "We are all in shock after hearing about this accident, our thoughts are with the family at this time, and we are all praying that the child will pull through."
Galway City West councillor Catherine Connolly said: "This is shocking news. I was at the pool this morning myself, and it was absolutely packed as it was such a lovely day. Our thoughts are with the family at this time."