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25 Sept 2022

Enagh Lough drowning victims named as Reuven Simon and Joseph Sebastian

Huge outpouring of grief across Derry and the North West

Mr Reuven Simon and Mr Joseph Sebastian

Mr Reuven Simon and Mr Joseph Sebastian who died on Tuesday

There has been a huge outpouring of grief across Derry and the North West following the tragic deaths of two teenagers in Enagh Lough near Strathfoyle.

Tributes have been paid to the boys who lost their lives on Monday evening.

The friends have been named as Mr Reuven Simon and Mr Joseph Sebastian and were pupils at St Columb's College in Derry.

St Columb's Principal, Finbarr Madden said the school community had learned of the "heart-breaking loss" with "shock and sadness".

Mr Madden said: "No words can express the devastation that we feel as a school community, but first and foremost our thoughts and prayers are with both boys families, community and friends."

The Mayor of Derry City and Strabane District Council, Sandra Duffy (Sinn Fein) said today was a very sad day for our city and district.

Mayor Duffy added: "The sad loss of two teenage lives in such circumstances is devastating for all of us.

"As a mother, my heart goes out to the boys' parents and to their family and friends at this time, I hope you get the strength and support you need to get you through your huge loss."

The North West Migrants Forum shared its deepest condolences to the families of Reuven and Joseph. 

"We know both families and can only imagine the incalculable pain they are feeling today.

"Thanks must also go to emergency services who were on the scene. Our thoughts and prayers are with the entire Kerala community as they try to make sense of this awful tragedy. Remembered fondly."

 

Waterside parish priest Father Michael Canny said the tragedy would be felt all over the city.

He said the families were traumatised and absolutely devastated.

“They are part of the Indian Kerala community who worship here at St Columb’s in Waterside. The boys are at a local grammar school and two of the mothers are nurses, I understand. Another works in the health service and another is a local in business here.”

“It’s an awful tragedy and there is tremendous sadness all round.”

The scene at Enagh Lough today (Photograph courtesy of Tom Heaney.)

Extending symapthy, Kumon Foyle Study Centre said it knew Reuven and Joseph in their primary years.

"It has come as such shocking news to learn about the terrible loss. The heartbroken families and the wider community will be in our prayers. Our deepest condolences and sympathies to all of them."

MLA Mark H Durkan (SDLP) said the whole city was heartbroken at the devastating loss of these two beautiful boys.

He added: "Our thoughts and prayers are with their families, friends and the Kerala community at this unbelievably dark and difficult time."

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