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Dawson drowning victim was European politicians son
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The Southern Catholic College student who drowned Monday while swimming in a Dawson County lake was the son of a former member of the European Parliament.

Kevin Sinnott, 22, of Ireland drowned while swimming in a lake at the Gold Creek Golf Club, a golf course beside the college campus, the head of the Dawson County Emergency Service said Wednesday.

Sinnott was one of nine children of Kathy Sinnott, a Chicago native and Irish citizen who represented southwest Ireland in the European Parliament for five years before losing in this year’s election. She traveled to the United States upon hearing the news of her son’s drowning.

Lanier Swafford, Dawson County’s chief of emergency services, said Kevin Sinnott was among six students at the college who went to the lake Monday night, and three of them decided to swim across it.

"Kevin got in trouble, and they attempted to help him get back to shore," Swafford said. He never resurfaced, Swafford said.

The other students reported the drowning.

Authorities said the drowning was not related to widespread flooding in many parts of North Georgia on Monday.

Dawson County Sheriff’s Sgt. Johnny Holtzclaw said Tuesday that there were no indications that alcohol was a factor in the incident.

Swafford said his office received a call of a possible drowning at the lake at about 8:20 p.m. Monday.

Rescue workers from Dawson County, with help from the Hall County dive team, recovered the body about 30 feet from shore in water 20 feet deep Tuesday afternoon.

Sinnott’s body was sent to the Georgia Bureau of Investigation crime lab for examination, authorities said.

Father Shawn Aaron, president of the college, described the victim as a young man of strong faith and a good heart, one of the best students on campus.

Reports from The Associated Press and Times regional staff writer Michelle Hester contributed to this story.