Tributes have been paid to an “exceptionally talented” Limerick soccer player who died following a jet ski incident south of Killaloe bridge on Wednesday evening.
Wassiou Ayawe has been described as a very skilful Limerick FC underage soccer player who was blessed with an infectious smile and happy demeanour.
The young man was recovered by the Killaloe Ballina Search and Recovery Dive Unit at 6.45pm and was pronounced dead at the scene following a multi-agency response involving emergency services.
Following early enquiries, An Garda Síochána are currently treating this matter as a tragic accident.
Councillor Tony O’Brien, who is chairman of the Killaloe Ballina Search and Recovery Unit, said there was a great sense of shock in Killaloe and Ballina when news emerged on Wednesday evening that a young person had lost his life.
“His death brought a dark cloud over the area last night. He came out to enjoy the amenities of the river and lost his life in the process.”
“The community’s thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends at this sad time.
Stressing the need for all water users to be vigilant over the coming months, the Clare County Council chairman said the river is unforgiving and everyone has to give it their full respect.
“Not matter how tranquil and glorious the water may look, it is treacherous and can be a dangerous place. People have to be 100% careful and ensure they have all the necessary safety equipment and measures in place before they go out on the water.
Councillor O’Brien thanked all the emergency services who were involved in the multi-agency search and recovery operation.
Limerick City Councillor Frankie Daly said Mr Ayawe was an extremely talented soccer player.
The Independent Councillor said it was very hard to express in words the impact of this devastating loss on his family and the local community.
“His life was cut short far too soon. It is devastating news. He was an elite soccer talent at a young age with great athletic ability. He was very quick, skilful and had great football intelligence.
John Kennedy, former secretary of the Limerick District Soccer League, recalled Mr Ayawe played at U-15 National League level for Limerick FC as a winger or striker. He also played for Carew Park.
“He was an exceptional underage talent. Anyone who knew Wassiou is left numb because he was a really nice young man who was always smiling. He had an infectious type of personality as he was always in good form.”
His death notice reads: “Ayawe – Wassiou Moran, Grattan Court, Old Clare Street, Limerick following a tragic accident on May 31st, 2023.
“Very deeply regretted by his loving Mam Tracey, Father Wassiou, brothers Jordan, Mohamed and Deondre, sisters Tiana, Aaieshah, Abbie, Shaniqua, Ariana and Laytoya, aunts and uncles, extended family and many friends, including Samir, Sandra, Darragh, Ned, Luke, Calvin. and Alex.
“May his gentle soul rest in perfect peace.”
His funeral details have not yet been released.