Death of Shay Lynch (7) after swimming pool incident at Clare hotel ‘heartbreaking’, says Taoiseach

Child was taken from Lakeside Hotel and Leisure Centre in Killaloe to University Hospital Limerick but was later pronounced dead

A seven-year-old boy who drowned in a hotel swimming pool in Co Clare while celebrating a friend’s Confirmation has been named locally.

Shay Lynch, from the village Clonlara, Co Clare, died following the incident at the Lakeside Hotel and Leisure Centre in Killaloe.

A Garda inquiry and a Health and Safety Authority investigation have begun in the aftermath of the incident, which occurred shortly before 3pm on Saturday afternoon. A postmortem examination was due to be carried out on Sunday.

It is understood the boy was recovered from the water unconscious and efforts were made to try to save his life at the poolside. He was rushed to University Hospital Limerick by ambulance, but was pronounced dead a short time later.


A first class pupil at Scoil Seanáin Naofa, Clonlara, Shay is survived by his parents James and Tania, and sister Abi.

His funeral is due to take place on Wednesday at St Senan’s Church in Clonlara.

Taoiseach Simon Harris described the boy’s death as “absolutely heartbreaking”.

“I know people right across Ireland are keeping this family and the community of Clonlara in Co Clare in their thoughts and prayers at such a sad and difficult time,” he said in a post on X.

A statement from the hotel, which overlooks Ballina and Killaloe, said the leisure centre would remain closed for the coming days as a mark of respect.

“Our deepest sympathies, thoughts and prayers are with the family, friends and those who knew the young boy who passed away following a tragic accident in our swimming pool yesterday,” the statement on Sunday said.

“We extend our heartfelt gratitude to our lifeguards, team members and the emergency services who did all they could in responding to this incident”.

Local Independent councillor Michael Begley, expressed his sympathies to the boy’s family and friends, adding that people are “absolutely shocked”.

Mr Begley added: “It’s a terrible shock to the locality especially when so many in the village were celebrating the Confirmation. It was a day of celebration in the community. The Lynch family are held in the highest regard and really respected in the area.”

Clonlara GAA Club paid tribute in a statement to the “talented, loved and valued member of our U9s team”.

Donnchadh Kelleher, principal of Scoil Seanáin Naofa, Clonlara, said of Shay, in a statement on X: “His bright smile and his kind heart endeared him to everyone in our school community. He will be greatly missed”.

The school has implemented its critical incident management plan, and is liaising with the National Educational Psychological Service.

Jade Wilson

Jade Wilson

Jade Wilson is a reporter for The Irish Times