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ardreigh lock

Search resumes along River Barrow for man missing after kayak accident

A child was rescued from the water and treated at the scene by paramedics on Sunday.

LAST UPDATE | 2 Mar 2021

THE SEARCH FOR a man who went missing after a kayaking accident in Co Kildare on Sunday afternoon has resumed for the second day. 

The man, who has been named locally as 34-year old Declan Reid, has been missing since he and his eight-year-old son got into difficulty in the water at Ardreigh Lock outside Athy on Sunday.

It is understood that their kayak overturned at the popular beauty spot and that Mr Reid managed to keep his son afloat before the child was rescued by a passer-by.

By the time the passer-by made it back to help the father he could no longer be seen.

The garda water unit is currently at the scene along with local gardaí, civil defence and local volunteers.

A four-kilometre stretch of the river was scoured by gardaí from the water unit and members of the civil defence throughout the day. About a dozen kayaks and four boats were involved, including four divers.

river-barrow-rescue PA PA

river-barrow-rescue PA PA

The area is popular with walkers and families and was particularly busy over the weekend with the good weather.

Local Labour Party councillor Mark Leigh said things are “very raw” in the “tight-knit community” of Athy.  

“It’s a numbing effect when something like this happens, but our thoughts are with the family.” 

Local Fianna Fail councillor Veralouise Behan said: “It was a very tragic accident on a beautifully sunny day.

“My heart goes out to the family.

“The waterways are very inviting but the river is particularly high at the moment.

“The river is a big part of our community in Athy and there are a lot of people involved in water activities.

“It’s a big shock and a big blow to the family. I really hope they find him.”

Labour Party councillor Aoife Breslin said the family must be going through the “most horrific time”.

“It’s heartbreaking,” she said.

“I know everybody in the town of Athy sends their support and sympathy and if there’s anything the town can do to try and lessen the heartache they certainly will.

“It’s inconceivable how a family can deal with this.

“The waiting and not knowing must be absolutely horrific. There are no words to describe it.”

- With reporting from PA

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