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Saturday 21 July 2018

'This is a massive loss to the area' - Popular man who drowned in the River Shannon named locally

The man drowned in the River Shannon
The man drowned in the River Shannon

Conor McCrave

Tributes have been paid to a man who died after getting into difficulty while swimming in the River Shannon on Saturday evening.

The man, named locally as Christopher Leo (43), was discovered shortly after 5pm when a member of the public called 999.

He was swimming at the popular Parteen Railway Bridge near Limerick city when he go into difficulty.

Emergency services including the coastguard, fire brigade and gardaí arrived at the scene and CPR was carried out.

He was then taken to University Hospital Limerick where he later died.

Local Sinn Féin Cllr John Costelloe knew Mr Leo personally.

He was originally from the Moyross area and had a wide circle of friends that will be devastated by the news.

Councillor Costelloe described it as a “tragedy and a massive loss for the area", adding "people are just bewildered by it”.

He described the 43 year old as “a quiet chap” and said was he was well-known and much-liked by the local community.

Meanwhile, local priest Rev Sean Harmon described it as a “terrible loss” for the community.

He said as the news started to spread this morning “friends and the family were rallying round them”.

The location of the tragedy is a well-known place for people to go swimming in the Shannon.  

The numbers swimming at the spot have increased with the coming of the hot weather of recent days.

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