Emergency crews attacked at river rescue

Violence flared as emergency services recovered the body of a member of the Travelling community from a Co Cork river.

Michael O’Driscoll, 21, had been swimming with friends in the River Lee near Inniscarra cemetery when he drowned in the early hours of yesterday.

It is understood that Mr O’Driscoll and friends had been drinking in the area before going for a swim.

Gardaí from Ballincollig, Blarney, and Gurranabraher arrested two people at the scene for interfering with the work of the emergency services, who had been summoned to the scene at around 12.45am.

Mr O’Driscoll, who lived with a relative at Leesdale Estate, off the Model Farm Rd, was recovered from the water about an hour later.

He was taken to CUH where he was officially pronounced dead at 2.25am.

Further trouble flared at the hospital where three more friends of the deceased were arrested by gardaí on public order charges.

All five of those arrested were aged in their 20s and 30s.

Mr O’Driscoll’s uncle, William O’Driscoll, 36, died in early Feb 2007 after crashing his car on the South Ring Rd while trying to evade pursuing patrol cars. He had been followedafter reports that he was driving dangerously.

Trouble also flared after William O’Driscoll’s death when relatives living at an unofficial halting site near Glanmire in Co Cork began to riot.

They threw missiles at passing cars, forcing gardaí to seal off the site and a number of roads in the area.

Gardaí dressed in riot gear were drafted in and after arresting five people eventually brought the situation under control.

An autopsy was due to be carried out on Michael O’Driscoll’s body yesterday and gardaí are preparing a file for an inquest.

Dark cloud

An evening of celebrations in glorious weather following victories on GAA fields on both sides of the Cork/Kerry border, turned to a tragedy which has cast a dark cloud over tight-knit rural communities.

And, yesterday, inter-county rivalry was set aside as people joined together in grief and supported the distraught family of Christopher O’Sullivan, 17, from Rathmore, Co Kerry, who drowned on Sunday evening.

The fifth-year student at Scoil Phobail Sliabh Luachra, Rathmore, was swimming with a group of friends in the River Blackwater, at Farrankeale, near Knocknagree, Co Cork, when he got into difficulties shortly after 5.30pm.