Man killed in stolen boat was previously jailed over drunken hit and run

Noel Quinlivan
Noel Quinlivan

A 28-year-old man who passed away in a boating accident was part of a four-man gang who stole the boat from a local club.

Gardai have launched an investigation into the circumstances regarding the death of Noel Quinlivan (28), who was discovered with three other men just after 4am on Thursday morning after a boat capsized in the river.

The boat had been robbed from Castleconnell Boat Club, Co Limerick, prior to the accident.

The deceased, with an address at St Patrick’s Villas, Castleconnell, was handed a three-year jail sentence in 2009 after fatally knocking down a man while under the influence of drugs and alcohol, reports the Irish Daily Star. 

Gardai confirmed that the young man passed away yesterday afternoon. The man had been in a critical condition at University Hospital Limerick.

The other three indivduals are all in hospital but said to be in a stable condition.

The alarm was raised after 4am through a 999 call from one of the men, when the 16ft craft turned over and was caught in branches and debris near Castleconnell, about 12 miles north of Limerick city.

The open rowing type boat is believed to have become snagged on debris and broken pieces of tree and branches which built up around semi-submerged groynes during winter floods.

The boat is thought to have been pinned against a blocked platform by the force of water and the men were trapped in among the debris.

Mr Quinlivan was the last of the quartet to be pulled from the water, at around 6.55am yesterday.

In February 2012, he pleaded guilty to dangerous driving causing the death of local father-of-one Thomas O’Shea (40), on Main Street, Castleconnell on the morning of September 6th, 2009. He had been smoking cannabis and drinking alcohol.

Following the fatal collision, he returned to his girlfriend’s house where he continued drinking and smoking.

Mr O’Shea’s widow Lisa, who was also injured by Mr Quinlivan’s reckless driving, said she would never get over the death of her husband.

“The laughter is gone from our house,” she told the court in a victim impact statement.

Defence counsel Anthony Sammon stated at the time that Mr Quinlivan was conscious of the “dreadful loss” his actions had caused, and that he would have to live with his actions for the rest of his life.