Wednesday 17 January 2018

Boy (5) drowns during family break

Gardai say death in hotel pool was tragic accident

Majella O'Sullivan

A FIVE-year-old boy who drowned in a hotel swimming pool had been enjoying a short break with his family and was due to return home yesterday.

Gardai are treating as a tragic accident the death of Tadhg Fannin from the Belclare Estate in Ballymun, Dublin.

The little boy was staying at the Gleneagle Hotel in Killarney, Co Kerry, with his parents -- named as Owen and Kariann (Whelan) Fannin -- and his 14-month-old sister.

Tadhg had gone to the pool yesterday morning with his dad to enjoy a last swim before they made the journey home.

It is thought the little boy slipped and fell into the pool and got into difficulty shortly after 11am.

He was pulled out of the water by a lifeguard and attempts were made to resuscitate him at the scene.

He was transferred by ambulance under a garda escort to Kerry General Hospital in Tralee where he was pronounced dead. A post-mortem will be carried out today.

The family were on a weekend break at the popular Killarney hotel.

A spokeswoman for the Gleneagle said staff at the hotel were "deeply saddened" by the events and that their thoughts were with the family.

A health officer employed full-time at the hotel came to the scene immediately. Counsellors were also made available for other guests who had been in the leisure centre at the time.

One man who was holidaying at the hotel with his family had been on his way to the pool but the area was sealed off.


"I thought that an old person had taken ill but then I saw the father when the ambulance was leaving and I knew by the look on his face that something bad had happened," he said.

A spokesperson for the Gleneagle Hotel said: "The pool was fully supervised at the time of the accident with two qualified lifeguards and all the appropriate steps had been taken. All the relevant authorities have been notified."

The pool remained closed for the rest of the day, as a mark of respect for the family.

Mayor of Killarney Sean Counihan offered his condolences to the family.

"The town has been shocked by the tragedy. I was talking to the jarveys today and they are very upset. They're constantly taking families on trips," Mr Counihan said.

"People come from all over Ireland and all over the world to enjoy themselves in Killarney and you never envisage a tragedy like this happening," he added.

This is the first time there has been an accident at the 25-metre swimming pool, which has been in the family-run hotel for the past 20 years.

The 225-bedroom Gleneagle Hotel, which is owned and run by the O'Donoghue family from Killarney, has been in business for the past 54 years.

Irish Independent

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