NEWS

Man safe following incident at river's edge in Ballyshannon

Michael Daly

Reporter:

Michael Daly

Email:

michael.daly@donegaldemocrat.com

Man safe following incident at river's edge in Ballyshannon

An ambulance arrives at the scene in Ballyshannon this morning

A man who it was feared would jump into the River Erne in Ballyshannon this morning is safe after the intervention of HSE personnel saw him walk away from the river's edge.

The stand off from just before 9am lasted 50 minutes with gardaí, who were on the scene first, pleading with the man to come away from the northern edge of the river.

As the stand off continued people going to work and others passing by began to gather as they watched events unfolding.

A garda remained at the river bank just below the northern side of the town's Allingham Bridge, some 20 metres away from the man at the river's edge, while other gardaí were observed close to the town's swimming pool. 

It's understood the turbines at the nearby Cathaleen's Fall hydro-electric power station were turned off to slow down the pace of the flowing water.

The Ballyshannon fire service, located close to the river in the Market Yard, was on stand by at the scene.

A local man, a well-known former lifeguard who runs a business close by, was observed making his way along the opposite southern bank of the river with a ringbuoy in his hands. A noted swimmer, he remained at the river bank for the entire time the incident was ongoing.

At 9.35am two local men who work for the HSE made their way down to the river bank and spoke with the man standing close to the edge of the river. A short time later the man walked calmly with the two HSE personnel along the path under the Allingham bridge and emerged unscathed at the Market Yard where he spoke to a number of HSE personnel.

There is huge relief locally that the incident ended with the man walking away unscathed.

* Anyone with any concerns about themselves or a loved one can contact the Pieta House helpline, 1800 247 247, or by texting Help to 51444, or contact the Samaritans on the free number, 116 123, or by texting 087 260 9090. Both services are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

**People are also advised to make an appointment with their local GP during office hours. During evenings, nights or weekends, from 6pm to 8am, people can contact an out-of-hours GP service at NowDoc, 1850 400 911.