Tributes paid to Irish musician who drowned in Crete

A file photo of the RTE National Symphony Orchestra. Pic: David Keane

A musician who died along with his partner as he tried to save him from drowning has been remembered as a talented and treasured colleague.

John Lynch, associate principal viola with the RTE National Symphony Orchestra, died in the tragic accident last Friday on Mavros Molos beach on the Greek holiday island of Crete.

The 45-year-old, originally from Melbourne, Australia, was taken from the water dead along with his partner Kevin Devine, 46.

Authorities in Greece reportedly said one of the men got into difficulty while swimming in Kissamos Bay, believed to be Mr Devine, and Mr Lynch went to his aid only for both of them to drown.

The accident happened at about 5.30pm on Friday.

Noel Curran, director general of RTE, said the popular musician would be sorely missed by everyone who knew him.

“John Lynch was a hugely popular member of the RTE National Symphony Orchestra, and a most talented musician,” he said.

“He will be hugely missed by all in RTE Orchestras, Quartet and Choirs, particularly by those he played with in the National Symphony Orchestra.

“On behalf of all in RTE, I would like to extend my deepest sympathies to John’s family and friends at this very difficult time.”

Mr Devine was originally from Drogheda but lived in Dublin where he worked as a civil servant.

His family paid tribute to him yesterday. They said he loved travel, music and discovering new bands and would be missed by family, friends and colleagues in the Department of Health.

Mr Lynch, who was born in Melbourne but had dual Irish-Australian citizenship, worked as a freelance musician with both the RTE National Symphony Orchestra and the RTE Concert Orchestra since July 1999.

Before that he played with the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra.

Mr Lynch was appointed associate principal with RTE’s symphony orchestra after just over a year based in Dublin.

John O’Kane, executive director of RTE Orchestras, Quartet and Choirs, said: “John was a dear and treasured colleague and friend of all in the RTE NSO. He will be greatly missed. May John and Kevin rest in peace.

“We extend our deepest sympathies to the Lynch and Devine families.”

The Department of Foreign Affairs have been liaising with relatives following the double tragedy. It is understood the arrangements for funerals will be made once the bodies have been repatriated.

  • Click to stay connected with more stories like this
  • Sign up here to receive news by email. Once per day, no spam.

Most Read in Ireland