Leahy says locals had warned of sea conditions ahead of triathlon tragedy

Photo © Pat Flynn

Post mortems are due to take place today following the deaths of two men at the Ironman event in Youghal in Cork yesterday.

64-year-old Ivan Chittenden from Canada, and Brendan Wall who was in his 40s and originally from Meath but living in England, died during the swimming section of the triathlon.

Tipperary hurling legend John Leahy was due to compete in the event.

He was ready to start on Saturday but the triathlon was postponed due to the impact of Storm Betty.

Speaking on Tipp Today this morning the Mullinahone native said locals in Youghal warned that sea conditions were still likely to be bad yesterday.

“I just got chatting and he was a local and he said look the sea doesn’t usually settle for two or three days after a storm.

“And I’m saying to myself I’m not going to go in, I’d consider myself not a very strong swimmer – I’ve learned to swim probably just five years ago. I might be strong enough in some contexts of putting lengths into a pool in the swim but I wouldn’t be an experienced sea swimmer. And looking at the conditions I’m saying to myself is my best option now is probably not to go into it.”