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'Inspiring and funny': Tributes paid to teenage boys who drowned in Clare quarry

The teenage boys got into difficulty in Knockanean, Ennis yesterday afternoon.

Jack Kenneally (left) and Shay Moloney (right)
Jack Kenneally (left) and Shay Moloney (right)
Image: Ennis Rugby Club via Twitter

Updated 4.55pm

TWO TEENAGERS WHO drowned in a Clare quarry yesterday have been named locally as Jack Kenneally and Shay Moloney.

The boys were swimming with a group of friends when they got into difficulty at the disused quarry in Knockanean in Ennis at around 3.30pm yesterday.

It’s understood that one of the boys got into difficulty and the other tried to assist him.

Emergency services were called to the scene and reportedly searched for 40 minutes before finding them.

The teenagers were recovered from the water and taken to University Hospital Limerick but were later pronounced dead.

Both Jack and Shay were both from Ennis. The boys both played rugby with Ennis Rugby Club, which has released a statement paying tribute to them.


Richard Murphy, President of Ennis RFC, said: “Shay and Jack were the heartbeat of our successful u15 squad. They were the guys that lead from the front, the guys that carried the fight, the guys that made the difference.

“As well as developing into exciting rugby players, both Jack and Shay were developing into fine young men who were a credit to their family and friends.

As resolute and fearless as they were on the pitch, they were as funny, engaging and inspiring off the pitch. Our club was a better place for having them as part of it and their absence will be keenly felt.

“We would like to acknowledge and thank the support of the broader rugby family at home and abroad in this difficult time.

“We would also like to acknowledge and thank the support of individuals and sports clubs across Ireland who have contacted us with their condolences and sympathies. Words and sentiments matter at times like this and it is all greatly appreciated.

“Our thoughts and actions are now completely focused on supporting the Moloney and Kenneally families over the coming days and weeks.”

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The Principal of Ennis Community College, where Jack was a second year student, also released a statement saying the school is deeply saddened by his death.

This is a terrible tragedy for the Kenneally family, our school and our community.

It added: “Jack will be greatly missed by his fellow students and teachers”.

The school has implemented a critical incident management plan and psychologists from the National Educational Psychological Service (NEPS) and Limerick and Clare Education and Training Board (LCETB) are supporting and advising teachers on how to support students dealing with this loss.

Speaking on Morning Ireland on RTÉ Radio 1 earlier, Deputy Mayor of Ennis Ann Norton said people in the community are shocked by the tragic deaths.

I think everybody in Ennis, and I’d say across the country, is in shock that two 15-year-olds have actually lost their lives.

She added that “it was just devastating to read” posts being left by young people on social media about the tragedy.

With reporting by Órla Ryan

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