Wednesday 22 November 2017

Little Logan had missed big match before tragedy at aquatic centre

Logan Joyce (4), who tragically drowned at the National Aquatic Centre
Logan Joyce (4), who tragically drowned at the National Aquatic Centre
Flowers and a note at the scene
The National Aquatic Centre in Dublin.

Edel O'Connell

THE tragic little boy who drowned at the National Aquatic Centre was due to attend a match at Croke Park when tickets promised to his father fell through.

The family of Logan Joyce decided to visit the centre in Abbotstown in Dublin on Sunday afternoon instead, but the four-year-old drowned after wandering into a pool with a gentle current.

Last night, the Joyces questioned how the youngster had not been spotted by a lifeguard as he went into the 'Lazy River' attraction, which has a depth of four feet.

His father Michael had been waiting nearby for his son to come down a slide suitable for his age group when he realised the youngster was missing.

It remains unclear how the four-year-old wandered into the other attraction before getting into difficulty.

Speaking to the Irish Independent, Logan's uncle, David Joyce said the family were already recovering from the heartache of losing the boy's cousin Aran (14) to liver complications last Christmas Eve.

He said Logan's mother Tracey, who is in her late 20s, and his father Michael were devastated.

"This was supposed to be a happy day out. Michael and Tracey live for their children," he said from the family home in Ashbourne in Meath.

"Logan and Crystal and Brandon were supposed to be going to the Meath match with their daddy but the tickets he was getting from a friend fell through at the last minute.

"He didn't want to disappoint the children so he took them to the centre. That's the kind of parents they are. They take those kids everywhere" he said.

"We want answers now as to how this could happen. How could a child wander like this into a deep pool?

"This is the National Aquatic Centre, hundreds of kids descend on this every day. Why was he not seen by a lifeguard?" he asked.

"They have CCTV. We want something to come of this, so no family has to live with this kind of heartache again. We don't want Logan to have died in vain."

Distraught

The Lazy River is almost four feet in depth and has a gentle current, which moves the swimmer around at two miles an hour.

The alarm was first raised when Logan's lifeless body was seen floating in the water by a passerby.

His distraught father desperately called for help and looked on as lifeguards attempted to resuscitate the boy.

He was rushed by ambulance to nearby Connolly Hospital in Blanchardstown where, despite the efforts of a medical team to revive him, he was pronounced dead.

His terrified siblings, Crystal (7) and Brandon (6) also witnessed the scene.

His uncle last night described the little boy as "mad for the outdoors" and a loveable rogue.

"We called him Roguey Logey," he said.

"He was such a happy little character. He loved life more than any kid I have ever met.

"He was quite big for his age and he and his brother Brandon were inseparable.

"They looked the same age so we nicknamed them the Irish twins. We never thought we would be looking for a casket for him.

"I still cannot believe that I arranged a funeral for him today. How can you put a little baby into the ground?" he asked.

Logan's two younger siblings Brody (1) and Dakota (2) were being cared for by family members last night.

Mr Joyce said his sister and brother-in-law were completely devastated by the tragedy and "unable to speak about" or come to terms with Logan's death. "They are destroyed by this and the fact that Crystal and Brandon were watching all of this and then had to go in the ambulance in their swimsuits with just tinfoil around them," he said.

"They were desperately trying to comfort their dad. I have a pain in my heart that nothing will ever take away," he said.

Logan, who was set to begin the local Gaelscoil in September, will be buried on Thursday next to his grandmother in Dardistown cemetery in Glasnevin.

Last night, Irish swimmer and Olympic hopeful Melanie Nocher expressed her sadness at the tragic accident on the social networking site Twitter.

"So sad to hear about the four-year-old boy who lost his life in the fun pool at the NAC. My thoughts and prayers are with his family. This puts life into context," she said.

Irish Independent

Promoted Links

Today's news headlines, directly to your inbox every morning.

Promoted Links

Editor's Choice

Also in Irish News