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Sunday 17 November 2019

Sunny day ends in tragedy as teen drowns

Eimear Ni Bhraonain

A JUNIOR Cert student drowned after he went for a swim in a river with his friends to cool down during the hot weather.

Sean Walsh (15) got into difficulties shortly after he entered the River Slaney at Clohamon bridge, three miles south of Bunclody, Co Wexford, on Sunday.

A second boy escaped death after he tried to save his friend, but got into difficulties himself. He eventually made it safely to the river bank.

Villagers ran to the scene after one of the boys went for help -- but Sean had already drowned.

The popular schoolboy's death has left his native community of Kilrush, Co Wexford, in a state of shock.

Sean was described by his soccer club Tombrack United last night as a "lovely, popular lad".

Club chairman Martin Byrne said the teenager had been watching Tombrack playing in the Billy Brown Cup final on Sunday at 2pm.

"There were three chaps with Sean, they always hung around together. They were enjoying themselves and went off to do a bit of fishing," Mr Byrne said.

The area at Clohamon Bridge is a popular swimming spot. Locals said it was not notoriously dangerous but the Slaney was known for undercurrents. The emergency services were on the scene within minutes and Sean's body was recovered half a mile downstream.

The tragedy occurred just six miles from Kilrush where Sean lived with his family.

Scoil Bhride in Carnew, where Sean attended secondary school, said they were "deeply saddened" by his death.

Sean was the only son of Pat and Martina Walsh. He is also survived by his sisters: Sharon, Niamh, Tina and Leanne.

His funeral Mass takes place tomorrow at 2pm in Kilrush.

Irish Independent

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