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Tragedy in Lahinch as father of drowning victim loses his life

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*Photograph: Martin Connolly

A man whose his own son lost his life in quarry swimming incident less than two years ago has died.

Fran Harding got into difficulty while swimming in Lahinch on Sunday morning at approximately 10:45. A surfer then raised the alarm with several others rushing into the sea to help located the Tipperary native. His partner Sarah Jane was on shore and witnessed the tragedy unfold.

Doolin and Kilkee units of the Irish Coast Guard were alerted as were Rescue 115 to respond to the scene. Contact was also made with An Garda Síochána and the National Ambulance Service. The helicopter crew conducted a detailed search of the area, it is believed that after a quarter of an hour they located Mr Harding.

Paramedics then began attempts to resuscitate the man before he was airlifted from Lahinch to University Hospital Limerick where he was pronounced dead after a short while.

In May 2018, Fran’s son Shay Moloney was one of two victims in a heartbreaking accident. The fifteen year old had been swimming with friends at a disused quarry at Knockanean and drowned while trying to save his best friend, Jack Kenneally (15). They had been rising stars within the ranks of Ennis RFC.

Páraic McMahon is Head of News & Sport with The Clare Echo. The Newmarket-on-Fergus native also writes for national papers including The Irish Examiner, The Irish Independent and The Irish Times along with doing work for RTÉ, Today FM, and A graduate of Mary Immaculate College, Páraic was previously employed by The Clare Herald and Clare FM. If you have a story, tip or some feedback for him then send an email to -

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