'Brothers in arms': Rugby club pays tribute to teenage friends who drowned in Irish quarry
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'Brothers in arms': Rugby club pays tribute to teenage friends who drowned in Irish quarry

TWO teenage friends who drowned in a disused quarry in County Clare have been described as "fine young men".

Jack Kenneally and Shay Moloney, both 15, died after getting into difficulties while swimming in the quarry lake at Knockanean, Ennis on Thursday afternoon.

The boys were submerged for over 30 minutes before their bodies were recovered by emergency services shortly after 4pm.

Both Jack and Shay were from Ennis and played for Ennis Rugby Club, which paid an emotional tribute to the tragic pair today.

'Our warriors'

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The club wrote on Facebook: “Jack and Shay. Our brothers in arms.

“Our warriors when the going got tough. Our leaders when the pressure came on. Our pride when they took the field. Our joy when they lit it up off the field. Our devilment when it all got too serious. Our gentlemen always. Our terrible, terrible loss.

“We extend our deepest condolences to the Kenneally and Moloney families and also to the friends and team mates of these two wonderful boys. May they rest in peace".

Club president Richard Murphy described the boys as "the heartbeat of our successful u15 squad".

He added: They were the guys that lead from the front, the guys that carried the fight, the guys that made the difference.

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“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.

“We would like to acknowledge and thank the support of the broader rugby family at home and abroad in this difficult time.

"We would also like to acknowledge and thank the support of individuals and sports clubs across Ireland who have contacted us with their condolences and sympathies. Words and sentiments matter at times like this and it is all greatly appreciated.

“Our thoughts and actions are now completely focused on supporting the Moloney and Kenneally families over the coming days and weeks."

Schoolboys

Jack was a second-year student at Ennis Community College.

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Principal Brian O’Donoghue said the school community had been left profoundly saddened.

“This is a terrible tragedy for the Kenneally family, our school and our community,” he said.

“Jack was a talented rugby player and played for Ennis RFC. He was so proud of his achievements as we all were.

"Jack will be greatly missed by his fellow students and teachers.

Shay attended nearby St Flannan’s College in Ennis.

In a statement, the school said: “Our thoughts are with Shay’s family and friends. Shay was a third-year student and will be greatly missed by all who knew him.”