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A dispute erupts between Triathlon Ireland and the Ironman group over when the decision not to sanction the controversial Youghal event was announced

Two competitors tragically died after getting into trouble in the water during the swimming leg of Ironman 70.3 in Youghal.

Triathlon Ireland claimed tonight that it has confirmed to race organizers that it is not possible to sanction the race before it begins.

However, the Ironman group stated that those responsible were only informed about this hours after the end of the race.

Brendan Wall, 44, of Co Meath, and Ivan Chittenden, 65, of Toronto, Canada, died on Sunday after getting into trouble during the swim portion of an Ironman triathlon in Youghal, Co Cork.

The swim had been cut short by organizers due to harsh weather conditions following last weekend's Storm Betty, but on Monday night a statement from Triathlon Ireland, a separate governing body of organizers of the Youghal event, confirmed it had told organizers it was the Event could not be approved due to safety risks for participants due to weather conditions.

Triathlon Ireland tonight reiterated their statement to the Irish Independent from earlier this week.

“Triathlon Ireland technical officers were present prior to the start of the race to review conditions and conduct a water safety assessment.

“Due to the adverse conditions that day, Triathlon Ireland's technical officers confirmed to the race organizers before the start of the race that it was not possible to sanction the race.

Ivan Chittenden. Photo: Strava/Ivan Chittenden.

However, in a statement tonight, the Ironman group said that following the postponement of Saturday's event, “Ironman Ireland officials and the dedicated swim safety team have carried out all the standard safety protocol checks that are conducted at each race and have identified the water conditions .” that the swim could take place safely.”

“Ironman works with national federations around the world as we organize over 150 Ironman and Ironma 70.3 events annually.

“Therefore, association representatives were present during the event and carried out their duties. A few hours after completing the swim, they notified local Ironman Ireland officials that they would not authorize the sanctioning of the event,” the statement continued.

Two separate investigations into the incident are currently ongoing. Government Secretary Darragh O'Brien is urging everyone involved in the incident to be “very frank” about what security measures were in place that day and what were not.

“It's a terrible tragedy and we all know it. My thoughts and the thoughts of the Government are with the two families of the two people who died in a very, very tragic manner,” said Mr O'Brien.

“Undoubtedly, there are very serious issues that need to be addressed. I read Triathlon Ireland's statement last night with interest and indeed some concern.”

He said safety should be “the focus” at events like this.

In a statement also released tonight, host sponsor Cork County Council said: “In terms of responsibility for the event, Ironman has sole responsibility for the management and coordination of the event. This responsibility includes conducting the event with due care, skill and diligence.” Attention.

“Cork County Council has no responsibility for the administration and running of the event and for any decisions relating to the conduct of the races or the various elements of each race.

“Cork County Council recognizes that the fatalities may be the subject of a forensic investigation and is asking Ironman for a full account of the incident.

The council will determine its future position as host sponsor once it has received and reviewed it,” he added.

Triathlon Ireland, the Ironman Group and the District Council sent their condolences to the two competitors who died.

Triathletes have told how people were “screaming, scared” and “crying uncontrollably” while some were pulled out of the water during an Ironman triathlon in Cork that killed two men.

Brendan Wall. Photo:

Triathlete Keith O'Sullivan competed in Sunday's Ironman and said there was a “sense of panic” and people being “pulled out of the water”.

“People screamed in fear and suffered from fear in the water.

“People were being pulled out of the water and it just wasn't a place for people with any inexperience or nervousness.

“I had the feeling days in advance that it should have been canceled because the winds hit speeds in excess of 105mph down here on Friday night. That morning I knew we shouldn't go into it, but I was caught in the moment and I'm disappointed in myself for going into it.

“We were told by the organizers that if you're in trouble and someone comes towards you in a kayak, you put your hand in the air. The kayakers struggled to stay upright and the spotters struggled to keep the boats upright because the swell was so big. They couldn't even see anyone… they did their best,” Mr O'Sullivan told RTÉ's News at One.

Winnie Moore also competed in the triathlon on Sunday and said there were people in the water who were “crying uncontrollably,” adding she decided not to continue swimming because the conditions were too dangerous.

“I got knocked down. It took me a few times to get through the waves at first,” she said. “I only made it out about 200 meters and there was a very big swell and looking around I panicked. And then another swimmer stopped next to me and said, “Are you okay?” And I said, “Actually, no.” No, I'm not. I do not feel comfortable.'

“I wanted to try to reach this buoy that seemed far away from me. Then I lowered my head and tried to get to the buoy as I looked around [the kayaker] I had gone to another girl on the left who was very distressed. She cried uncontrollably.

“I had just told myself it wasn't worth it, I didn't have to prove anything to myself.”

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