Friday 20 September 2019

A fun day in the sun that turned to tragedy



WEXFORD WAS plunged into mourning on Monday following the recovery of the body of young Barntown man Allen Murphy (18) from the disused quarry on Forth Mountain, where he and two friends, Jordan Molloy (14) and Stephen Gilhooley (13), had been swimming in the lake which has formed there.

What would ordinarily have been a fun day in the sun turned into tragedy when Allen, from Pike View, Larkin's Cross, got into difficulty half way between the shore and a small island in the middle of the lake. During the day, the three had been jumping from the cliffs surrounding the lake, into the water and swimming to the small island.

Allen got into difficulty while swimming towards the island and despite their best efforts, the young men who accompanied him were unable to keep him above water. Jordan Molloy managed to swim to safety and raise the alarm, while Stephen Gilhooley succeeded in making it to the island, from where he was later air-lifted by the Waterford Coastguard helicopter to a nearby field and brought to hospital.

The helicopter then scanned the area for Allen before members of the Rosslare and Wexford RNLI and Coastguard arrived on the scene to aid in the search which went on into the night.

Allen's mother Mary and brother Dara (21), as well as a number of family friends and local residents, kept a vigil from a point overlooking the quarry while the search operation was ongoing. Divers from Wexford Sub Aqua Club were called to search for Allen's body beneath the water, but at 1 a.m. on Monday morning the search was called off as it was deemed too dark to continue. Efforts resumed at 5 a.m. and divers recovered Allen's body from the lake at approximately 6:30 a.m.

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