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24th Jun 2024

Man who died in Donegal diving tragedy named

Joseph Loftus

Heartbreaking news.

A diver who tragically died off the coast of Donegal on Saturday has been named.

Patrick Doran, who was in his 40s, was a married father-of-three from Leitrim village who took part in a planned dive organised by the Donegal Bay Sub Aqua Club.

The Dive, the North West Dive Rally, was due to include dives on Saturday and Sunday, however around noon on Saturday, the alarm was raised when two divers found themselves in difficulty.

After a major search and rescue operation was launched one of the missing divers, later identified as Mr Doran, was recovered from the water and pronounced dead at the scene.

A second diver was able to get to the surface where he was treated at the scene and later rushed to University Hospital Galway where he is being treated for decompression sickness, also known as the bends.

The Cathaoirleach of Donegal County Council, Killybegs councillor Niamh Kennedy said of the tragedy: “It is only when a tragedy like this visits your community that you realise how dangerous the sea really is. My heart missed a beat when I heard this awful news.

“Our hearts go out to this man and his poor family and all that they are going through. We pray for them and we pray for the second man who was thankfully rescued and we hope he will make a full recovery.

“My thoughts too are with the Donegal Bay Sub Aqua Club who hosted this event and we hope they are not suffering too much.”

An online tribute from Mr Doran’s GAA club, St Mary’s in Kiltoghert, reads: “Paddy was born in Sheafield, with his brothers and sisters, Anna Marie, James, Colm, Richie, Dearbhla and Melissa, outside Leitrim village, to Bridie and the late Jim Doran, another great St Mary’s Kiltoghert man.

“He received his education in Leitrim Village NS and Carrick-on-Shannon Vocational School before studying engineering at third level.

“Paddy married his childhood sweetheart, Siobhán Moran, Drumsna, and settled in Finisklin, Effrinagh, where they were blessed with three wonderful children, Emmet, Caoimhe and Eibhlín.

“Paddy’s involvement with St Mary’s Kiltoghert goes right back to his childhood, when he represented the club and won titles at every underage grade. He not only represented the club with distinction, but also represented Leitrim at U-16, U-18 and U-21.

“His love of sport extended beyond football and he played hurling, soccer, basketball, and athletics. Paddy continued to play for St Mary’s Kiltoghert into adulthood, winning medals at intermediate and senior levels.

“There’s many a man around the county who still grimaces at the mention of his name as they recall being on the receiving end of one of Paddy’s legendary shoulder tackles.”

The post concluded, reading: “His straight talking, no nonsense, man of action approach endeared him to all who met him. His sad passing leaves a void in our club and our lives which will never be replaced.”

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