Young lifeguard who died in tragic surfing incident will be 'sorely missed' by all who knew him

Talented Fionn O'Brien will be remembered 'in glowing terms'
Young lifeguard who died in tragic surfing incident will be 'sorely missed' by all who knew him

Fionn O’Brien died following a tragic surfing incident on Monday. 

A young lifeguard who tragically lost his life on Monday has been named locally as Fionn O'Brien.

Mr O'Brien, 20, got into difficulty while surfing on Lough Donnell, near Quilty in Co Clare yesterday morning. 

The young man was airlifted to University Hospital Limerick (UHL) by Shannon-based Coast Guard helicopter R115 and was given CPR both at the scene and en route to UHL.

However, tragically, attempts to save his life proved unsuccessful and he was later pronounced dead at UHL.

The young man is survived by his parents, Pat and Michelle, and his brothers Conor and Niall and sister Saidhbh.

Heartfelt tributes have poured in for the 20-year-old from Tulla Road, who was an active member of his local GAA club.

Fionn O’Brien was a talented GAA player, blessed with 'great skill and lightning speed'
Fionn O’Brien was a talented GAA player, blessed with 'great skill and lightning speed'

In a Facebook post, Mr O’Brien’s GAA club, St Joseph’s Doora/Barefield, said it was with “great sadness and huge shock” that they learned of the passing of their club man, team-mate and friend.

“Fionn was a very talented dual player with the club, blessed with great skill and lightning speed.

“Even at such a young age he had already contributed hugely with the promise of a lot more to come.” 

He will always be remembered “in glowing terms” and his memory never forgotten, they added.

The staff and board of management of Rice College, Ennis, where Mr O’Brien attended secondary also extended heartfelt sympathies to the O’Brien family.

“We remember Fionn as a wonderful, smiling and talented young man and he will be sorely missed by all who knew him,” they said.

Water Safety Ireland also expressed their “deepest sympathies” to the family of the young lifeguard. 

“Everyone in the lifesaving community is mourning the untimely loss of our dear friend.” 

Mr O’Brien’s funeral will take place on Thursday at 11am in Church of Our Lady, Fahy Hall, Roslevan with burial after in Drumcliffe Cemetery. In accordance with current HSE guidelines, a maximum of 50 may attend the funeral and burial. The funeral will be streamed online for those who cannot attend.

An online book of condolences has been opened by Clare County Council.

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