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Thursday 22 March 2018

Dad's desperate bid to revive son (3) who fell into pond

Mum Dace Letina with her son Roland, who died in Latvia
Mum Dace Letina with her son Roland, who died in Latvia

Greg Harkin

A dad tried desperately to revive his three-year-old son who drowned in a pond at his grandparents' home.

Roland Letins, a pupil at Cockhill Community Pre-School in Buncrana, Co Donegal, drowned while on holiday in Latvia.

His Latvian-born parents Janeks Kuzelis and Dace Letina have been residents of Buncrana for more than 11 years.

They were visiting Ms Letina's parents in the medieval Latvian town of Cesis when the accident happened.

The family was in the garden when Roland fell into a pond, said friends.


Desperate attempts to revive him failed and the boy was pronounced dead at the scene.

"They (the parents) had turned their back for just a few moments when this happened," said a friend of the family.

"It appears Roland slipped and fell into the pond and he was in for a few moments.

"His dad tried to perform CPR but it was to no avail. The family is devastated. Roland was a lovely wee boy."

County Councillor Nicholas Crossan said Buncrana was in mourning again after the tragedy, following the deaths of five members of the same family in the pier drowning disaster in March.

"The family are very much an integral part of our community and the loss is being felt by the entire community," he said.

"After the tragedy on our slipway here just a few weeks ago, it is another very dark day for the town."

A spokesperson for the pre-school said: "Roland was a delightful little boy, and it was a privilege to have him here with us.

"The management and staff of Cockhill Community Pre-school are heartbroken at this tragic news. We are numbed by it."

Roland will be laid to rest in Latvia later this week.

A spokesman for the police in Cesis said the death was still under investigation.


"This was a tragic accident and is being investigated in the normal way," he said.

In March, Sean McGrotty (46), his sons Mark (12), and Evan (8), his partner's mother Ruth Daniels (57), and her daughter Jodi-Lee (15) all died when their car sank off Buncrana pier.

Irish Independent

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