Latest: Tributes paid to Limerick father who drowned in River Shannon

By David Raleigh

Latest: Tributes have been paid to a father who drowned in the River Shannon at the weekend.

The victim, named locally as Christopher Leo, originally from Moyross, had been swimming with friends near St Mary’s Park, Limerick city, when he got into difficulty in the water.

The tragedy occurred around 5pm yesterday evening.

Mr Leo, aged in his early 40s, and who was residing in St Mary's Park, was pulled from the water by emergency services.

Swift Water Rescue Technicians attached to Limerick City Fire Service along with divers from Limerick Marine Search worked together to recover Mr Leo’s body from the water.

The Limerick father was found submerged in six foot of water close to where he had been swimming, reliable sources said.

Gardaí and HSE paramedics also responded to the scene and despite the best their efforts to save Mr Leo by performing CPR he was pronounced dead a short time later.

The deceased's father, Christopher senior, is a well-known bagpiper and former member of the defence forces.

Curate in St Mary's Parish, Rev Sean Harmon said: “The community is rallying around the family. I know his father and uncle well. They are in shock and they are, of course, devastated, and very upset.”

“We are all saying prayers and the family are in all our thoughts," Rev Harmon added.

Paying tribute, family friends and local Sinn Fein councillor, John Costello, said: “I’m in shock, because I only spoke to him recently on the (river) bank and I knew him quiet well.”

“He was a very quiet, unassuming, and very likeable chap.”

“My heartfelt condolences go out to his family and his broader circles of friends. After last week we had a boating regatta down in St Mary’s Park, and we celebrated the river - and now we are stuck in these contrasting emotions of having to bury one of community in such sad situation.”

“Christoper was a nice guy. He was known by everyone as ‘Kippy’. It's a horrible situation.”

Photo: Google Maps.

Earlier: Man (40s) dies after drowning at popular Limerick swimming spot

A man in his 40s has died after getting into difficulty at a popular swimming spot in Limerick.

The incident happened yesterday evening at Parteen Railway Bridge on the River Shannon, upriver from Limerick City.

Gardaí and local fire services attended the scene after an alert was raised by a member of the public shortly after 5pm.

Rescue technicians responding to an alert from Valentia Coast Guard, entered the river and located the man, removing him from the water and transferred him to waiting paramedics.

He was removed by ambulance to University Hospital Limerick where he was later pronounced dead.

A file will be prepared for the Coroner.

- Digital Desk

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