A nine-year-old boy is in a critical condition in hospital in Galway after he fell into the sea in Co Clare yesterday evening.

The incident happened near the lighthouse at Blackhead, near Ballyvaughan, in the north of the county.

The alarm was raised shortly after 9pm last night.

The Doolin unit of the Irish Coast Guard and the Shannon-based search and rescue helicopter were involved in the search.

The boy was recovered from the water soon after 10pm and airlifted to Galway University Hospital.