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Tuesday 23 July 2019

'Shock and sadness' as Irish father-of-three dies suddenly after kitesurfing in Portugal

Tom Griffin passed away while on holiday in Lisbon
Tom Griffin passed away while on holiday in Lisbon
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Gabija Gataveckaite

AN IRISHMAN who died suddenly while on holiday in Portugal has been named locally.

Father-of-three Tom Griffiin fell ill while kitesurfing and collapsed in Fonte da Telha beach in Almada, near Lisbon last Wednesday, according to local media reports.

A source from the District Command of Relief Operations in Setúbal told Observador that the man "left the water by foot" before collapsing.

Emergency services were alerted shortly after 4pm and fire brigade, ambulance and police services were dispatched to the scene.

Mr Griffin was originally from Muckross in Killarney, Co Kerry but lived in Maynooth, Co Kildare.

He worked in the semi-conductor fabrication facility in the Intel plant in Leixlip, known as 'fab' and the company paid tribute to him.

"Tom was a long standing and valued member of our Fab organisation here in Leixlip and we are deeply saddened by his tragic loss. Our thoughts are with his family and friends at this difficult time," said a spokesperson for Intel.

Local independent councillor Brendan Cronin told Independent.ie that there is ‘shock and sadness’ in the Killarney community.

“This is an awful tragedy to befall anyone,” he said.

“My prayers are with the family at this very sad moment. There’s shock and sadness without a doubt,” he added.

Kerry Independent Alliance councillor Michael Gleeson said that both Mr Griffin’s and his wife’s family are very well known in Killarney.

“There’s great sadness at his passing, both families are very well known,” he said.

“I hope everything possible will be done to get his body back to Ireland at this very sad time,” he added.

The Department of Foreign Affairs confirmed the death of the Irishman.

“The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade is aware of the case and is providing consular assistance,” said a spokesperson for the department.

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