Death of well-known athlete in drowning accident

The tragic death of Joe Grinsell has shocked the athletics community throughout the county.

The tragic death of Joe Grinsell has shocked the athletics community throughout the county.

Joe Grinsell, who died a short distance from his home after going for a swim in a lake at Ahenny slate quarries, was a well known and popular figure in Clonmel Athletic Club and was a familiar face at race events all over Tipperary and beyond.

News of his death, said Niall O’Sullivan, Clonmel AC, caused widespread grief among club members and greatly saddened members of clubs all over Tipperary. “Joe was a great club member, he always had a smile and a laugh and really enjoyed training and running in every event.” said Mr. O’Sullivan. Joe took part in the Clerihan five miler last Friday night, the day before he went for the swim in the slate quarry lake. “He was in great form and ran the race with his friends and really enjoyed the occasion” said Mr O’Sullivan.

“Joe was a fantastic person to have in the club. Whenever he was taking part in a race he would be so helpful to newcomers and people who might be nervous about just starting out to run. He would give them all great encouragement and he was very much respected and admired by everybody in the club” he said.

Mr Grinsell, who was also a keen cyclist, was a member of Clonmel AC since 2002.

“Apart from running and taking part in charity events, Joe was always there to provide help when asked to do stewarding activities or anything else that the club required assistance on,” said Mr O’Sullivan.

He said Joe loved the social side of the club and would always arrive early and be one of the last to leave as he enjoyed talking to people taking part. “He will be greatly missed by everybody in the athletic community” added the club spokesperson. Joe was well known in Carrick on Suir where he worked at Irish Leathers up to its closure and prior to his retirement seven years ago he worked on the maintenance staff of Merck Sharp and Dohme.

He lived with his mother Nellie. He is also survived by his two sisters Bernie and Alice.

His remains left O’Dwyers funeral home in Carrick for St. Mary’s Church Grangemockler on Tuesday evening. Requiem Mass takes place this morning Wednesday 24th July at 11.30am and burial takes place in adjoining cemetery.