Sunday 17 December 2017

Shock as husband and wife killed in tragic drowning on Shannon River cruise

Frank Dunne and his wife Alexandra Malkin Dunne died in an accident on the River Shannon
Frank Dunne and his wife Alexandra Malkin Dunne died in an accident on the River Shannon

Ian Begley and Denise Calnan

Locals have expressed shock following the deaths of a husband and wife in a drowning accident on the River Shannon.

The bodies of the couple, who lived in Germany and were both in their 30s, were recovered from the water at Carrick-on-Shannon yesterday afternoon.

The victims have been named locally as Frank Dunne (39), originally from Malahide but who was living in Munich, and Englishwoman Alexandra Malkin Dunne.

It is understood a friend of the couple became concerned when they tried to ring them but could not get through to their phones.

The married couple had hired a cruiser earlier in the week. The area is popular with tourists for pleasure cruises on the River Shannon.

Mr Dunne's body was located in the river close to the boat at 2pm. Ms Malkin Dunne's body was recovered in the water later in the afternoon.

Frank Dunne
Frank Dunne

It is understood that Mr Dunne has family from the area. The couple had lived in Munich for some time and Ms Malkin Dunne worked for multinational firm Cinegy.

Gardaí have said the bodies have been removed to Sligo University Hospital where post-mortem examinations will be carried out on Monday.

Gardaí are treating the deaths as accidental.

Read more: Two tourists die in 'drowning accident' on River Shannon

Local councillor Finola Armstrong-McGuire said the double tragedy had left people in the area shaken.

"We're very shocked and saddened for such a tragedy to happen in our lovely community and our waters," she said.

Independent councillor Enda Stenson added: "A gloom descended over the town when the news came through. There was an event on in the sports complex and everybody was in shock. Our sympathy goes out to the families, there are two families grieving tonight."

A Garda spokesperson confirmed the couple had hired a cruiser earlier in the week.

The spokesperson said: "The couple in their 30s were reported missing to gardaí earlier yesterday morning.

"The couple, who lived in Germany, had earlier in the week hired a cruiser on the river. The body of the man was located in the river close to the hired cruiser at 2pm and the woman's body was later recovered. At this stage the deaths are being treated as accidental."

A friend of Mr Dunne who works in the Molly Malone Bar in Munich said she couldn't believe it when she first heard the news.

"I just met him two weeks ago. I worked with him in the bar when he first came to Munich about 20 years ago.

"He was such a lively, funny guy. He was so popular around this city and everyone really loved him. He introduced me to his wife and she seemed so nice," she said.

Another friend who works in the Shamrock Irish bar in Munich said: "It's so tragic. Frank just celebrated his 20 years in Munich a few weeks ago. He'll definitely be missed by everyone here."

Irish Independent

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