Touching Tributes For Tragic Teens Shay And Jack

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Two teenagers who drowned in County Clare have been described as great friends who were ‘full of life’.

Jack Kenneally and Shay Moloney got into difficulty while swimming at a disused quarry near Ennis yesterday afternoon.

Counselling is being offered to students and teachers following the tragic drowning of two great friends.

They had been swimming with a number of friends at the quarry, at Knockanean on the Tulla Road , at around 3.30pm.

The alarm was raised and emergency services and the Shannon rescue helicopter were quickly on the scene.

However, it is understood that it took some time before the two teenagers were located in the water.Paramedics attended to them at the scene once they were taken from the water.

The teenagers were airlifted to Limerick University Hospital, where they were pronounced dead on arrival.

Fine Gael Clare TD and Minister of State Pat Breen expressed his condolences online:

“My thoughts and prayers are with the families and friends of Jack Kenneally and Shay Moloney who tragically lost their lives in a drowning accident last evening outside Ennis. “No words can describe the huge loss of these two talented young friends to their families. RIP.”

In a statement School Principal at St Flannan’s, Fr Ignatius McCormack said:

“what occurred is a terrible tragedy for both families and friends, our schools and our community. We are deeply saddened by these events.”

“Both will be greatly missed by all who knew them. Offers of sympathy have been pouring in and are greatly appreciated.”

School Principal at Ennis Community College, Brian O’Donoghue said:

“This is a terrible tragedy for the Kenneally family, our school and our community. “Jack was a talented rugby player and played for Ennis RFC. He was so proud of his achievements as we all were. Jack will be greatly missed by his fellow students and teachers.”

Ennis Rugby Club says they were the ‘heart beat of the team’ and full of life. St. Flannans College and Ennis Community College says psychologists are available to help those deal with the loss.

Ennis rugby football club has also expressed its devastation at the loss of their much loved club members in such tragic circumstances yesterday.

Richard Murphy, President of Ennis RFC, said:

“Shay and Jack were the heartbeat of our successful u15 squad. They were the guys that lead from the front, the guys that carried the fight, the guys that made the difference.”

“As well as developing into exciting rugby players, both Jack and Shay were developing into fine young men who were a credit to their family and friends. As resolute and fearless as they were on the pitch, they were as funny, engaging and inspiring off the pitch. Our club was a better place for having them as part of it and their absence will be keenly felt.

“We would like to acknowledge and thank the support of the broader rugby family at home and abroad in this difficult time. We would also like to acknowledge and thank the support of individuals and sports clubs across Ireland who have contacted us with their condolences and sympathies. Words and sentiments matter at times like this and it is all greatly appreciated.

“Our thoughts and actions are now completely focused on supporting the Moloney and Kenneally families over the coming days and weeks.”

In a statement Independent Clare TD Dr Michael Harty said that the people of Clare are “stunned” by the deaths.

 “All we can do for now is offer heartfelt condolences to their families and friends and hope that words of consolation can be of some small comfort at this time of grief.

“My hope is that – especially during this fine spell – people will be careful where they swim, obey the warning signs and preferably choose locations where lifeguards are on duty.”