Drowning was ‘like history repeating itself’

MONDAY’S tragedy at Strabane quarry is not the first to grip the McGarrigle family.

This year marks 40 years since Rhys Jack’s uncle Edward McGarrigle drowned after he wandered away from his family home in the Ballycolman Estate.

Edward was only five-years-old at the time and despite several extensive searches, his body has never been recovered. It has long been accepted by the McGarrigle family that he strayed on to the banks of the River Mourne.
Noel McGarrigle, grandfather of Rhys, was at Strabane quarry on Tuesday to see his grandson’s body recovered.


An emotional Noel told the Strabane Chronicle how Monday’s tragedy unfolded. It was, he said, “just like history was repeating itself”.
“We got a call at about 7pm on Monday night that something had happened. We didn’t know what it was and we just thought Rhys had hurt himself.  Then we found out he had drowned. I needed medical treatment because I just collapsed. t just brought what happened 40 years ago back to me.


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