John Lynch Degani Ensemble

Crete tragedy: Symphony orchestra holds minute's silence for John and Kevin

Violist John Lynch and his partner, Kevin Devine, died on Friday off a beach in the town of Kissamos.

Updated at 12.30pm

MEMBERS OF THE RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra have been trying to come to terms with the tragic death of violist John Lynch and his partner Kevin Devine, who lost their lives in a drowning accident in Crete.

The accident happened on Friday at a beach in the town of Kissamos in the north-west of Crete.

John and Kevin had been on holiday the Greek island

“This morning is the NSO’s first day back after holidays and they are planning a minute silence as they come to terms with this horrible news,” an email from management to members of both the symphony and concert orchestras said.

John Lynch, who was 45, was born in Australia, but his family have their roots in Donegal. He worked with the NSO from 1999, and was appointed as associate principal viola in 2000. Previously, he worked with the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra.

“On behalf of all in RTÉ, I would like to extend my deepest sympathies to John’s family and friends at this very difficult time,” Director General Noel Curran said in a statement.

Executive Director of RTÉ Orchestras John O’Kane described him as a “dear and treasured colleague and friend of all in the RTÉ NSO”.

He will be greatly missed. May John and Kevin rest in peace. We extend our deepest sympathies to the Lynch and Devine families.

Kevin Devine, from Drogheda, worked at the Department of Health. He also worked as a sales rep for local radio station LMFM in its early days of operation, according to the broadcaster.

“Kevin was the second eldest of our children and beloved by his brothers and sister,” his parents said in a statement.

“He loved travel, music and discovering new bands.”

The Department of Foreign Affairs is providing consular assistance to the families of both men, a spokesperson confirmed.

Funeral arrangements are yet to be announced.

First posted at 8.30am.

Read: Two Irishmen die in Crete drowning tragedy

Read: Shooting at Dublin pub leaves two men injured

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