Limerick man drowns on Kilkee beach

Alan Owens

Reporter:

Alan Owens

Drowning: the Irish Coast Guard rescue helicopter over Kilkee. Picture: Liam Burke/Press 22
THERE were dramatic scenes on Kilkee beach this Sunday evening as a Limerick man drowned while swimming in the water off the bay.

THERE were dramatic scenes on Kilkee beach this Sunday evening as a Limerick man drowned while swimming in the water off the bay.

The man, named locally as John Looby from Caherdavin, was found washed up on the shoreline at around 6pm this Sunday evening in the Co Clare seaside village.

As the weather was warm and sunny, there was a huge crowd of people on the beach at the time, who had to be cleared while lifeguards and then paramedics attempted to resuscitate Mr Looby, to little avail.

The man, aged in his early 50s according to the Garda Press Office, was airlifted to University Hospital Limerick, where he was later pronounced dead at approximately 8pm, according to Gardai.

The dramatic scenes were witnessed by hundreds of holiday makers in the resort town, long popular with Limerick natives, as medical professionals performed CPR on the man for at least 30 minutes, while he remained on the sand.

The coast guard was called, as was an ambulance, which later transferred Mr Looby to the waiting helicopter on the nearby GAA pitch in the village.

Manuel di Lucia, of the Kilkee Rescue Service, said the incident “wasn’t a nice end to the day”.

“We dragged him up on to the beach, I went over to alert the other lifeguards, came back and they started doing CPR on the man - how long he was in the water we are not quite sure,” he explained.

“The fact that he was maybe washed up on to the shore would suggest he was in the water for maybe about 30 to 40 minutes,” he added.

Mr Lobby is survived by his wife Joan and five children. He will repose at Griffin’s Funeral Home on Wednesday from 5pm, with removal to Christ the Kind Church, Caherdavin at 6.30pm. Funeral takes place on Thursday after 11.30am Mass.