A witness who tried to help a teenage boy who fell to his death at the Powerscourt Waterfall has told of the heartbreaking scenes as the mother of a second boy on the outing tried in vain to save him while her own son was still missing.
Tributes have been paid to Lewis Fleming (15) from Ballymoney, in Co Antrim, who was killed after he lost his footing while climbing the rocks at the popular and scenic Co Wicklow waterfall on Wednesday.
He and his friend had been visiting the waterfall with their mothers while their dads and others were playing golf nearby.
After Lewis fell, the two mothers ran to the bottom of the waterfall in panic, neither of them sure which boy had fallen.
Another mother who was visiting the site with her own young children described the heartbreaking sequence of events.
"We didn't know the boys had climbed the rocks, but one of the children said they saw Lewis near the top before he lost his footing and fell.
"I heard a haunting noise and then me and a man who was there ran towards the water area, and I could see the boy in the water," she said.
"The mothers of the two boys were screaming. I got into the water to help retrieve the boy and then the mothers realised it was Lewis," she added.
"The mother of the other boy is a doctor, and she set straight to work on Lewis to try to resuscitate him, still not knowing where her own son was.
"It was heartbreaking. She was doing her best as a professional while knowing the boy so well and we were trying to console Lewis's mother, and all this while at the same time not knowing where her own boy was," the witness added.
"A man who was at the waterfall with a drone put it up in the air to search for the other boy. Meanwhile, somebody had run for a defibrillator, but there was no response.
"Everyone was doing everything they could. A medic came on a motorbike, and the ambulance crew worked on him for an hour and a half I think.
"Lewis's father arrived and he was hysterical, as you could imagine.
"In the meantime, someone had made contact with the other boy, who was stuck on a ledge, and he was told to stay there until the helicopter could rescue him," she added.
"The poor boy had seen the ambulance arrive and knew something had happened to Lewis.
"Everyone was doing everything they could, but in the end there wasn't anything that could be done to save Lewis. As a parent to see a family go through that was terrible," she said.
The woman said while everything possible was done for Lewis she felt there could have been a better phone signal, and a closer defibrillator.
"Considering it is a very popular spot it took a while to phone 999. Different people were trying. And the defibrillator was in the cafe," she said.
Tributes have been paid to Lewis by the principal of Coleraine Grammar School where Lewis was a pupil.
"The whole school community is devastated to hear of the tragic death of Lewis Fleming on holiday in Co Wicklow, which gardaí are treating as an accident," a statement said.
"Lewis was a lovely young man, about to enter year 12, who contributed hugely to school life in the classroom, on the rugby field, the athletics track and in the swimming pool," it added.