Loss of such young lives 'absolutely devastating' - Ennis mourns loss of two teens in drowning

Minister Michael Ring has extended his sympathy to the family and friends of the teenage boys who died in a drowning in County Clare.

The Minister for Rural and Community Development says it highlights the need for education about the hazards of water and he is urging water users to be vigilant this weekend.

Jack Kenneally and Shay Moloney got into difficulty while swimming in a quarry lake near Ennis on Thursday afternoon.

Shay Maloney (left) and Jack Kenneally (right). Pic: Ennis Rugby Club Twitter

The town's Deputy Mayor Ann Norton says everyone is devastated.

She said: "I really just don't know how the families are coping with this because it is young lives that have been lost.

"I think that this is really where this really actually falls, it's so young just 15 years of age, it's absolutely devastating."

A senior Garda has described as "heroic" the efforts made by Shay Moloney who lost his own life while trying to save the life of his friend, Jack Kenneally at the lake in Ennis.

Supt Brendan McDonagh of Ennis Garda Station said: “It is our understanding that Shay went back in and tried to help Jack who had got into difficulty and Shay got into trouble himself. Another boy went down to help them as well.

"That boy just got exhausted and was not able to help and had to come back up. The water is quite deep out there.”

It is understood that it was Shay’s first time to swim at the lake at a disused quarry at Knockanean outside Ennis.

Supt McDonagh said: “Unfortunately, where they were swimming, there was no life-saving equipment. It is very sad for their families and friends who are doing their Junior Cert. It is a parents’ worst nightmare.”

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