Shay Lynch: Tragedy as 7-year-old boy drowns in hotel swimming pool during birthday party

Shay Lynch drowned in a hotel swimming pool in Co Clare. Picture: Scoil Seanáin Naofa, ClonlaraShay Lynch drowned in a hotel swimming pool in Co Clare. Picture: Scoil Seanáin Naofa, Clonlara
Shay Lynch drowned in a hotel swimming pool in Co Clare. Picture: Scoil Seanáin Naofa, Clonlara

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Tributes pour in for a boy, seven, who drowned in a hotel swimming pool

A seven-year-old boy drowned in a hotel swimming pool during a birthday party in Ireland. Shay Lynch, was rushed by an ambulance from the Leisure Centre at the Lakeside Hotel & Leisure Centre in Killaloe near Clonlara in Co Clara following the incident on Saturday afternoon (April 20). He was sadly pronounced dead at the hospital.

Tributes have since been paid to the child, who had ‘bright smile’ and a ‘warm heart’. His school, Scoil Seanain Naofa in Clonlara said the first class pupil “will be greatly missed”. It said in a statement published on X: “Our school community has experienced the tragic death of our beloved pupil, Shay Lynch.

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"Shay is a much-loved 1st Class pupil in Scoil Seanáin Naofa. His bright smile and his kind heart endeared him to everyone in our school community. Our thoughts and prayers are with his parents Tania and James, his sister Abi, the extended family and his wide circle of friends. Offers of support have been pouring in and are greatly appreciated."

The Ireland Prime Minister has also offered his condolences to the family. Taoiseach Simon Harris wrote on X: “Absolutely heartbreaking. I know people right across Ireland are keeping this family and the community of Clonlara in Co Clare in their thoughts and prayers at such a sad and difficult time.”

Shay Lynch drowned in a hotel swimming pool in Co ClareShay Lynch drowned in a hotel swimming pool in Co Clare
Shay Lynch drowned in a hotel swimming pool in Co Clare

Fianna Fáil councillor Tony O’Brien for the Killaloe area described Shay as a “bright” and “bubbly” child. He told RTÉ Radio One’s Morning Ireland: “A very bright, bubbly, very loved child. I know he was very into helping his dad,” he told RTÉ Radio One’s Morning Ireland.

"Shay was very proactive in helping him complete numerous tasks around his house, at home doing jobs and so forth. Like any seven-year-old, full of devilment but full of life and full of love and full of affection for his family also.

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“Our thoughts, prayers, and any help we can give as a community to Shay’s family, are forthcoming over in the coming days and weeks. Our thoughts and prayers are very much with Shay’s family,” Mr O’Brien said.

Clonlara GAA, a community football club also paid tribute to their member. On Facebook, they wrote: “This evening, after a beautiful sunny Sunday and a titanic display of hurling in Ennis, we have the saddest news to reckon with as a club and a community as we learn of the death of one of our members, Shay Lynch.

“Shay was a talented, loved and valued member of our U9s team. Our hearts, thoughts, prayers and deepest condolences go out to Shay's parents, James and Tania, his sister Abi and his extended family, his many friends, teammates, coaches, Clonlara school staff and all connected with him in our club and Official Truagh Camogie Club.

“All club activities will be suspended over the coming days as a mark of respect to Shay and the Lynch and Conroy families. Thank you for your understanding and support. Suaimhneas síoraí dá anam uasal. May Shay rest well and in peace.”

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In a statement, the Lakeside Hotel said: “Our deepest sympathies, thoughts and prayers are with the family, friends and those who knew the young boy who passed away following a tragic accident in our swimming pool yesterday. We extend our heartfelt gratitude to our lifeguards, team members and the emergency services who did all they could in responding to this incident.”

A police spokesperson said: “Gardaí and emergency services responded to an incident at a swimming pool on a premises in Killaloe, Co. Clare, shortly before 3pm on Saturday, April 20th, 2024.

“A seven-year-old boy was transported from the scene to University Hospital Limerick, where he was later pronounced deceased. The local coroner has been notified, and arrangements are being made for a post-mortem examination”. The pool at the hotel’s leisure centre was immediately closed as the police treat the boy’s death as a “tragic accident”.

Shay’s funeral will take place on Wednesday at St Senan’s Church in Clonlara at 11am.

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