Clare community "shocked and traumatised" after two boys drown in quarry

The teenagers were recovered from the water on Thursday afternoon

Clare community "shocked and traumatised" after two boys drown in quarry

Shay Moloney and Jack Kenneally | Image via @EnnisRugby on Twitter

Updated: 15.30

The deaths of two teenagers in a drowning accident in Co Clare is being described as a tragedy which has stunned the local community.

The boys died after getting into difficulty while swimming at a quarry near Ennis on Thursday afternoon.

This tragedy unfolded shortly after 3.00pm when a group of young people were swimming at a disused quarry near Kockanean.

Image: Paul Quinn

It is understood two teenage boys were attempting to swim across the lake when one got onto difficulty and the other tried to save him.

It took emergency services 40 minutes to locate them.

They were airlifted by the Coast Guard Rescue 115 helicopter to University Hospital Limerick in a critical condition.

They were later pronounced dead.

"Shocked and traumatised"

The boys have been named locally as 15-year-olds Jack Kenneally and Shay Moloney.

Shay was a third year student at St Flannan's College while Jack was a second year student at Ennis Community College.

Both have put a critical incident management plan in place and psychologists will be available to support students and teachers.

Local councillor Mary Howard says the community is in shock by what has happened.

"It's a sad, sad day here - you see these things happening on the news every summer when the weather gets nice, that you hear (about) so many people drowning.

"But here we are we've had this on own doorstep and we've lost two young 15-year-old boys.

Image: Paul Quinn

"We're all trying to get our heads around it.

"Everybody's shocked and traumatised, and so upset for the two families".

Ennis Rugby Club has also paid tribute to the boys.

Club President Richard Murphy 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."