Body of teenage musician from Clare found in Slovenian lake

todayAugust 19, 2023 7

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An investigation is underway after the body of a young Clare musician was found in a lake in Slovenia.

18-year-old pianist Sean Shannon from Ennis was reported missing in the town of Bled on Friday. He was on holidays in the area, having recently featured on a three-part RTÉ programme called Face the Music, which followed a small number of students and teachers at the Royal Irish Academy of Music.

A spokesman for Slovenian Police told the Irish Examiner that officers were notified at around 5pm on Friday evening that an 18-year-old Irish citizen was missing in Bled.

He said: “A search operation was immediately launched in the area of ​​Lake Bled, in which, in addition to the police, the firefighters of the PGD Bled, underwater rescue services of the RS-Rescue Station Bled and the police helicopter participated. Divers soon found the dead body in the depths of Lake Bled, not far from the coast.”

He continued: “According to the information known so far, the police officers did not discover circumstances that would indicate that the incident was the result of a criminal act. However, they are continuing to check all the circumstances that led to the drowning and will inform the competent state prosecutor’s office about it.”

His death has plunged Ennis into mourning, while the classical music scene in Ireland is also shocked by the death.

In a statement on Saturday afternoon, the Royal Irish Academy of Music described him as “a kind, talented and dedicated student who quickly became a much-loved and integral part of RIAM student life”.

He was a self-taught pianist from a young age, and was studying on the Bachelor in Music Performance programme at RIAM, studying with Professor Réamonn Keary.

Professor Keary said: “Sean was a gifted, sensitive musician. He felt music deeply, which always came across in his playing. He was excited to learn and looked forward to exploring new repertoire. Sean had so much yet to offer; he will be massively missed by all who knew and loved him.” 

He performed his debut solo recital at Glór in Ennis in 2019, at the age of 14.

A statement from Glór on Saturday said: “This morning brought the saddest news. Sean Shannon was Glór’s Young Associate Artist from 2022 and began practising on the Baby Grand from age just 14. Sean was not only a graceful and finely talented pianist, but a kind and beautiful colleague. Our thoughts are with Sean’s parents, family and all his friends at this heartbreaking time.” 

His alma mater, Ennis Community College, said on social media on Saturday that the school community is “deeply saddened” to learn of the death of the “exceptionally talented and popular young man who will be missed by all”.

Mayor of Clare, Councillor Mary Howard, said she is heartbroken for his family and described him as “very kind, very gentle and incredibly talented”.

A spokesman for the Department of Foreign Affairs confirmed that it was aware of the death.

He said: “The Department of Foreign Affairs is aware of the case and is providing consular assistance. As with all consular cases, the Department does not comment on the details of individual cases.”

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Written by: Soft FM Radio Staff

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