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GAA stars' cousin missing after being swept away by river

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Civil defines members search the River Nore in Thomastown Co. Kilkenny yesterday. Photo: Dylan Vaughan

Civil defines members search the River Nore in Thomastown Co. Kilkenny yesterday. Photo: Dylan Vaughan

Dylan Vaughan

Civil defines members search the River Nore in Thomastown Co. Kilkenny yesterday. Photo: Dylan Vaughan

Friends of a man who fell into a flooded river made a frantic call to the emergency services as he was swept away by the water.

Search teams will resume their efforts this morning as they scour the River Nore for the man, named locally as Derek Tyrrell (33) from Loughboy in Kilkenny city.

The operation was called off yesterday evening due to deteriorating weather conditions.

Mr Tyrrell had been out with friends near the Canice's Mill area of Thomastown in Co Kilkenny in the early hours of yesterday morning when the incident occurred.

It is understood Mr Tyrrell, an electrician, had approached the water's edge and investigations are focusing on how he entered the water.

He is a first cousin of multiple All-Ireland winning hurlers Tommy Walsh and Jackie Tyrrell.

Sources last night said friends of Mr Tyrrell frantically called the emergency services when they discovered he had entered the water and may have tried to rescue him.

However, the river was said to be flooded and the current was too strong and swept the 33-year-old away before his friends could get to him.

The family of the missing man said they would not be commenting on the search when contacted last night.

The alarm was raised at around 1.30am at which point gardai and emergency services rushed to the scene.

The garda water unit, garda air support, Kilkenny sub-aqua club, Civil Defence, New Ross River Rescue and the local gardai in Thomastown all took part in the search. The Coast Guard helicopter was also on stand-by, but was not dispatched to the scene.

The search was stood down at 7am yesterday and resumed again at around 9am. But due to weather conditions it stopped again and will resume this morning.

Kilkenny Mayor Andrew McGuinness said the community was in shock. "We are all just hoping for the best possible outcome. Our thoughts are with the family at this time," he said.

Irish Independent