Slingshot ride closed after teen's death

THE director of an amusement park in which a 16-year-old was fatally injured on Sunday has promised to comply with a full health and safety and garda probe into the tragedy.

Frank King was still shocked yesterday as he spoke for over an hour with health and safety officers. While the busy amusement park in the heart of bustling Tramore was open again yesterday, the bungee 'slingshot' ride at which John Flavin worked was closed.

The local youth, the youngest of seven children, was struck by the bungee rope as he operated the ride around 4pm on Sunday. He died three hours later from serious head injuries.

Crowds gathered at the scene at the renowned Tramore Town and Leisure Park.

There was no notice to indicate what had happened there less than 24 hours earlier. Three small bouquets of flowers were the only indication that tragedy had unfolded at the very spot.

Mr King expressed sympathy to the bereaved family on behalf of all at the Park and the particular ride owner James Booth. "It was Mr Booth's seventh year operating in this park. He is a member of the showman's guild in Britain and also has international experience.

"This ride complied with health and safety regulations in the UK and was examined regularly to ensure it kept its safety certificate each year."

Neighbours and friends streamed in to the newly-built Flavin home on a new estate at Carrigeen Lee overlooking the bay in Tramore yesterday.

John and Frances Flavin moved there just over a year ago from Waterford city. John Snr had been captain of Waterford Golf Club and the family had settled into the area well in the past 12 months.

Among the callers to their home yesterday was Monsignor Michael Holden, the local parish priest.

"There are no funeral arrangements yet. One of his sisters is in America and they want to consult her before they make any decisions," he said.

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