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Sunday 17 December 2017

Town 'shrouded in shock and sadness' as young man's drowning is second tragedy to hit community in recent weeks

Town left 'devastated' after man drowns in 'extremely dangerous' water

Stephen Hoare (25) died after getting caught in river whirlpool
Stephen Hoare (25) died after getting caught in river whirlpool

Rebecca Lumley

The town of Carrick on Suir has been left "devastated" by the death of a young man in the River Suir, which locals warn is a "no-go area" for swimming.

Local councillors paid tribute to Stephen Hoare (25), who got into difficulty in a whirlpool in the river and drowned yesterday evening.

Sinn Féin councillor David Dunne said the town was "shrouded in shock and sadness" this morning and described the incident as a "terrible tragedy."

He said this was the second death to hit the community in recent weeks, as a young man, and a close friend of Mr Hoare’s, was killed in a road accident just a month previous.

Mr Hoare and his brother Martin were not originally from Carrick on Suir, but had moved to the town a number of years ago.

Mr Dunne described them as "two nice chaps" and said they had made a lot of friends in the area.

Stephen Hoare, who drowned in Carrick-on-Suir
Stephen Hoare, who drowned in Carrick-on-Suir

Martin Hoare (22) was with his brother at the river yesterday when he got into difficulty. The pair and some friends had been swimming to the rear of Ormond Castle, when Mr Hoare attempted to swim across the river to people on the far embankment.

He was sucked into a whirlpool and was unable to swim out. His friends made frantic efforts to save him, but were unable to help him. Emergency services arrived after a short time and the young man was pronounced dead at the scene.

He was then transferred to Waterford University Hospital, where a post-mortem examination will take place.

Fianna Fáil councillor Kieran Bourke paid his respects to Mr Hoare and said his brother Martin was "holding up well."

The river beside Ormond Castle in Carrick-on-Suir. Photo: Arthur Carron
The river beside Ormond Castle in Carrick-on-Suir. Photo: Arthur Carron

He said the town was "devastated" by the tragedy, but that efforts would now be made to support Martin.

"There’s lots of good people in the town that will give him support and he’s getting that," he said.

Mr Bourke confirmed that Mr Hoare’s remains would be transferred to Cashel, where he is originally from, once funeral arrangements have been made.

He said Martin wished to bury his brother alongside his parents, both of whom are deceased.

'No-go area'

Councillors have warned against swimming where the incident took place, saying the body of water is dangerous and unpredictable.

Mr Bourke said: "That part of the river is a no-go area, you don’t swim there. It’s an area known as the ‘navigation’ and there’s unbelievable currents and whirlpools."

Mr Dunne said the area "wouldn’t be renowned for bathing" and said there are no life-buoys or safety-aids at the scene.

He said the water is subject to tides and can become extremely deep when the tide comes in.

Independent councillor Eddie O’Meara described it as "very deep and very dangerous."

He advised travelling up the river in the direction of Clonmel for safer swimming conditions.

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