A YOUNG woman was first to act and dived into the River Barrow at Carlow Town Park as passers-by desperately attempted to help a man who tragically drowned last night.
A man aged in his 40s, believed to be from the south Kildare area, died after the tragic incident. Twenty-four-year-old Siobhán Ryan from Graiguecullen dived into the river and held the stricken man up as more help arrived.
“It’s just so sad he died. I thought he was going to make it,” she said.
Siobhán had been walking her dog in the town park at around 9.10pm on Wednesday night.
“I realised there was a man in the river. He was shouting some things, but it didn’t look too serious … like he was messing around.”
Another man beckoned him to come out, with a lifebuoy ring being thrown in, but the man went under the water.
“A guy next to me said he could not swim himself and I ran and jumped in. When I grabbed him, I was not able to swim and hold him up. I said: ‘help me, help me, please’.”
She said: “I wasn’t able to hold the man up and swim. It was one or the other, but another guy jumped in and we were able to get him together, grab hold of a ring and another man pulled us in.”
Members of the public attempted to resuscitate the man at the scene. The man spat up water and Siobhán believed he would be okay and left the area. However, this morning on the news, she found out that he had died.
Siobhán had only returned home to Carlow a few days ago, having come from Ibiza, where she teaches English.
A garda spokesperson said they were treating the incident as a tragic accident.