independent

Tuesday 17 September 2019

Council launches inquiry and warns of dangers

MARIA PEPPER

WEXFORD County Council has launched an investigation into the drowning accident which claimed the life of young Barntown man Allen Murphy.

In a statement issued yesterday ( Tuesday), the County Secretary Niall McDonnell said Council officials are conducting an inquiry into the tragedy.

'We are investigating all the circumstances to see what happened,' he said.

'It's a tragic accident that happened on our property.'

Mr. McDonnell extended sincere sympathy to Allen's family on his death.

'On behalf of Wexford County Council I wish to express deepest sympathy to the family of Allen Murphy, Barntown who tragically lost his life on Sunday last,' he said.

Confirming that the site of the accident is a disused quarry owned by the Council, Mr. McDonnell urged people not to swim in the area.

'I would appeal to the public not to swim or enter the water in the quarry,' he said.

'It's a disused quarry and it's dangerous,' said the County Secretary who formerly lived near the location.

The area at Carrigfoyle known to older people as The Windy Rock was used by Wexford County Council as a working quarry for many years.

In 1979, the Council leased it to Roadstone Ltd. who obtained planning permission, subject to conditions.

A natural cold spring runs through the area and during the time it operated as a quarry, a pumping system was used to remove the water.

Roadstone continued to quarry stone there until 1986, when it became disused.

The huge crater left from the quarrying developed into a lake which continues to be fed by the spring.

The water is up to 50 feet deep in places

For years, the lake has been a popular gathering spot for teenagers from the surrounding area, as well as people out walking in fine weather.

The location enjoys panoramic views over the countryside.

Large numbers of young people regularly swim there despite the presence of a sign warning against bathing.

The Civil Defence, Wexford Fire Brigade and local sub-aqua clubs have used the area for training exercises over the years.

Wexford County Council has applied to Failte Ireland for funding to develop a walking trail and to building an outdoor pursuits centre in the area in conjunction with County Wexford VEC.

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