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Family's plea after grandad drowns while playing golf

THE family of a Tallaght man who drowned in a lake while out golfing have made a plea to other golfers not to practise alone.

Sean Doran (65) died when he is believed to have tried to retrieve a ball from a lake on the Grange Castle Golf Course on the Nangor Road on June 11. His body was found by other golfers in a lake on the course between the third and fourth hole.

Sean had left his home in Redwood Drive, Kilnamanagh, earlier that morning to get some practice, and went to the popular course at 8.14am. He was found just over an hour later.

"He was trying to improve his game and he didn't like holding other players up, so he used to go out early," his heartbroken widow Helen told the Herald.

The first nine holes of the golf course, owned by South Dublin County Council, were closed for a time as gardai carried out an investigation into Sean's death.

However the garda investigation is now over, and it is believed Sean's death was a tragic accident.

Gardai confirmed the drowning was "not being treated as suspicious".

Sean's family are still coming to terms with his death.

"We would urge anybody who plays or practises golf alone to now make sure they have somebody with them at all times," said Helen.

As well as the risk of a fall into a water obstacle, Sean's son David stressed that a golfer could have a medical emergency such as a heart attack.

"It's better to play a game with somebody because the alarm can be raised much more quickly," he said.

Sean, who loved his four cats, had only retired six weeks before his death, and worked with An Post and the Olympic Oil company.

"He wasn't a great golfer, and he was always tweaking his game," smiled Helen.

Sean's son Ronan described how his dad was once practising in the back garden.

"He took a swing and the club flew out of his hands and into the neighbour's garden, and another time a ball ended up in a neighbour's bathroom," he remembered with good humour.

Sean's family described him as a "mischievous man".

"He was a big Dubs supporter, and whenever they would win a game he would cut the reports out of the paper and post them in the letterbox of a Cork lad down the road," smiled Ronan.

Sean and Helen had only started using the free travel that he had gained on reaching 65, and had plans to travel around Ireland.

"The whole street was in shock when Sean died, and everyone has been so kind. There is a great community spirit here," said Helen.

"We are also very pleased that Grange Castle has offered to plant a tree or erect a bench in Sean's memory," she added.