A seaside trip by a Dublin football club turned to tragedy when one of the coaches drowned while trying to save a player in his teens who got into difficulty in Courtown Harbour last May, an inquest in Wexford has heard.
James O'Reilly, 38, of Ashington Avenue, Navan Road, Dublin 7, a coach with Navan Road United, jumped off the pier into the harbour to help Karl Jordan.
The youth was eventually rescued by a local swimmer.
A coach with the club, Paul Henderson, told the inquest that the group of five adults and 13 children were staying in Curracloe.
They went to Courtown for the day after a friendly match they were due to play was cancelled.
He said: "None of the kids had swimming gear, but they were all wearing shorts as it was a sunny day. Three of the youngsters stripped down and went into the water, including Karl Jordan, who got into difficulty."
Mr Henderson said Mr O'Reilly stripped down to his underwear and jump into the water to help.
Mr Henderson ran ahead and saw Mr O’Reilly and Karl in the water.
Mr O'Reilly was holding Karl up on his shoulder and they were drifting between two piers.
He said he could see that they were struggling.
Mr Henderson ran to get a life buoy while another club member went to the lifeboat station for help.
When Mr Henderson returned to the pier Karl and Mr O'Reilly were further out.
He said that every now and then James came up over the water for air.
A teenager who was on the beach swam out to the pair, grabbed Karl and brought him to safety.
Mr Henderson said the last time he saw Mr O'Reilly he was being dragged out by the current.
Mr O'Reilly's body was recovered from the water a short time later by Courtown lifeboat.
A post-mortem examination was carried out by pathologist Dr Maurice Murphy. Coroner Dr Sean Nixon returned a verdict of accidental death.
He extended sympathy to Mr O'Reilly's family, his friends and to all who were there on the day of his death.
He commended Mr O'Reilly on his bravery and sacrifice in trying to help a young club member who got into serious difficulty.
Garda Inspector Pat McDonald described Mr O'Reilly as a very brave man who lost his life trying to save someone else.