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Tributes for teen from Ballymoney killed in plunge at Wicklow waterfall

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15-year-old Lewis Fleming

15-year-old Lewis Fleming

Powerscourt Waterfall in Co Wicklow, where 15-year-old Lewis Fleming from Ballymoney died

Powerscourt Waterfall in Co Wicklow, where 15-year-old Lewis Fleming from Ballymoney died

Lewis Fleming, a pupil of Coleraine Grammar School who died in a tragic accident at a waterfall in Powerscourt in Enniskerry, County Wicklow,a large country estate that is popular with tourists. Photo: McAuley Multimedia

Lewis Fleming, a pupil of Coleraine Grammar School who died in a tragic accident at a waterfall in Powerscourt in Enniskerry, County Wicklow,a large country estate that is popular with tourists. Photo: McAuley Multimedia

15-year-old Lewis Fleming

A Co Antrim teenager killed after falling at a beauty spot in the Republic has been described as a lovely person with a great sense of fun.

Lewis Fleming died in the tragedy at Powerscourt Waterfall in Co Wicklow.

The 15-year-old from Ballymoney was a pupil at Coleraine Grammar School and a member of the local swimming club.

The Garda said he was pronounced dead at the scene on Wednesday and his body was airlifted out.

Lewis is survived by mother Gillian, father Angus and brothers Aaron and Harris.

Swim Ulster is deeply saddened to hear the tragic news of the death of 15 year old Lewis Fleming from Ballymoney...

Posted by Swim Ulster on Thursday, August 6, 2020

It is understood his brothers are junior members of Royal Portrush Golf Club and the family were in the area as one of them was taking part in a tournament.

The accident unfolded at around 2.30pm on Wednesday and emergency services rushed to the location.

The Garda cordoned off the area for a time while it conducted a forensic examination.

The teenager's remains were taken to the mortuary at St Colmcille's Hospital in Loughlinstown, where a post-mortem examination was scheduled to be carried out.

An official with the Irish Coast Guard said it had received a request for assistance to airlift another male, who was stuck at the top of the waterfall.

The Rescue 116 helicopter was dispatched and the second male was airlifted to safety.

Volunteers from the Dublin and Wicklow Mountain Rescue Team and the Glen of Imaal Mountain Rescue Team also took part in the operation.

It is believed that Lewis may have tried to scale a section of the 121-metre waterfall but slipped and fell.

The landmark, which is on the River Dargle, is a major tourist attraction and part of the Powerscourt Estate in nearby Enniskerry.

Coleraine Grammar principal David Carruthers said the school had been left "devastated" by the news.

"Lewis was a lovely young man, about to enter Year 12, who contributed hugely to school life in the classroom, on the rugby field, the athletics track and in the swimming pool," he said.

"Lewis had a wide circle of friends, a great sense of fun, and will be sorely missed by everyone.

"I personally found Lewis to be an engaging, pleasant pupil who was always happy to have a chat.

"This is a real tragedy and a terrible loss for Lewis's whole family and for our school community.

"Our thoughts and prayers are with Lewis's family at this tragic time."

Swim Ulster, the governing body for aquatic sports, added that it was deeply saddened to hear of Lewis's passing.

"Lewis was one of Ballymoney Swimming Club's senior squad members and played a major part in the relay teams, PTL and open competitions," it said.

"Lewis had many friends in the club, and indeed the wider swimming community, and the loss of his friendship and companionship will be a huge loss to all who knew him.

"Our thoughts and prayers are with him mum Gillian, dad Angus, brothers Aaron and Harris and the family circle at this difficult time."

The Irish Junior Open Tour added on Twitter: "We would like to extend our heartfelt sympathy to the Fleming family after yesterday's tragic accident.

"The whole golfing community will continue to keep you in their thoughts and prayers at this difficult time."

North Down DUP MLA Mervyn Storey also paid tribute to the teenager.

"No one can begin to imagine the pain the family are going through," he said.

Sinn Fein MLA Philip McGuigan sent his condolences to the Fleming family.

"The local community are also in shock at this tragic loss of life," he said.

Belfast Telegraph