| 11.5°C Dublin

Call for fencing at Grand Canal after four drown

FOUR people have drowned at one location on the Grand Canal -- leading to calls for special fencing on the waterway.

The call has been made after the death of a pensioner who drowned at Camden Lock, a stretch of water at the entrance to the Grand Canal Basin.

Thomas Sheridan (74) from Ringsend, who was described as "a pillar of the community", died on May 31, 2009. An open verdict was recorded in the death.

"The open nature of the canal at the moment is highly dangerous," said solicitor Damien Cassidy, who represented the Sheridan family at the Dublin City Coroners Court this week.

City coroner Dr Brian Farrell called the canal "one of the most dangerous inner city locations I've ever experienced" during the inquest.

He said that it was it was the fourth inquest held at the court in six months into drownings in the area.

Dr Farrell said that he had already been in touch with the Dublin Docklands Development Authority and with Waterways Ireland and would be in contact with them again.

Meanwhile, Mr Cassidy said that the walkways along the Lock gates "are not suitable for ordinary people to be used in their present condition".

"In relation to the Upper Basin of the Grand Canal where apartments are built, there should be fencing around the open waterway," he said.

"There needs to be a fencing right around the Lower Basin of the Grand Canal and also the Upper Basin of the same canal. They are separated by the McMahon bridge which opened recently."

The Docklands Authority said it was "working with Waterways Ireland to determine options to improve safety and security around Grand Canal Dock".

Waterways Ireland said it would await the coroner's report and "examine its content and implications."