Tribute to Irish viola-player who drowned in Crete

The RTE National Symphony Orchestra is paying tribute to viola-player John Lynch, who drowned on Friday trying to save his partner Kevin Devine from drowning during their Greek holiday on the island of Crete.

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

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.”

45-year-old Lynch was born in Melbourne but had dual Irish-Australian citizenship and he worked as a freelance musician with both the RTE National Symphony Orchestra and the RTE Concert Orchestra. In the past he had played with the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra.

He drowned trying to save his 46-year-old partner who got into difficulty while swimming at Kissamos Bay. Both men were pulled out of the water dead.