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Dublin: 14°C Tuesday 27 July 2021

Siblings who believe brother was assaulted before he drowned appeal for information

Nicky Lyons drowned last year.

The Shannon in Limerick
The Shannon in Limerick
Image: PA Images

A BROTHER AND sister have appealed for information about the death of their sibling, who they believe was assaulted before his body was found in the River Shannon last year.

Nicky Lyons’s family said they have “many unanswered questions” as to how he died, despite a garda investigation that found no clear evidence of foul play in his death last April.

Speaking at the family home in St Mary’s Park, Limerick, John and Catriona Lyons appealed for information about a man dressed in a white coloured hoody who was seen with their brother shortly prior to his death.

A post mortem found Nicky Lyons’s death was consistent with drowning, but alcohol and medication were contributory factors. However, State Pathologist, Professor Marie Cassidy also noted an injury to the deceased’s jaw, which she said could have been caused by a blow or a punch.

John Lyons said he is convinced “something sinister happened” to his brother.

“A witness told his inquest that he heard a heated argument, and that gives us so many unanswered questions,” Mr Lyons said.

“Anything at all, that would jog somebody’s memory we would appreciate it if they came forward to help us,” his sister Catriona added.

“There is somebody out there who knows something,” she said.

John and Catriona, who also lost their father James, and brother William, to the same river, in separate incidents in 1996 and 1993, said: “We are just lost… We are a broken family.”

Last week, at the inquest into Nicky Lyons’ death, the Limerick City Coroner John McNamara recorded an “open verdict”.

The coroner stated: “Clearly, without any doubt, Nicholas Lyons did not intend to die that night. Because there are some concerns I think the most appropriate verdict is an open verdict. There are some questions unanswered.”

A witness, David Hayes, said he crossed Corbally Bridge, Limerick, at 8:45pm on the night, and saw Nicholas Lyons fishing alone at a jetty.

Three hours later, as he crossed back over the bridge he heard people shouting on the riverbank.

Another witness said he saw two men together in the same spot around 10.30pm.

The morning after Nicky Lyons failed to return home, his brother John discovered his fishing gear smashed and strewn around the banks of the river.

Speaking at the family home, John Lyons added: “I found his bicycle in the river, and his fishing rod was broken by the ends, as if it was snapped off a knee.”

“The inquest (verdict) backs up our belief there are questions as to how he got into the water,” he added.

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Read: Twin boys (2) drown after falling into garden pool

About the author:

David Raleigh

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