Gar­daí launch in­ves­ti­ga­tion af­ter tourist deaths on Gap of Dun­loe

The Kerryman (North Kerry) - - NEWS - BY SINEAD KELLE­HER

GAR­DAÍ have launched a full in­ves­ti­ga­tion into the tragic ac­ci­dent that claimed the lives of two tourists at the Gap of Dun­loe on Mon­day af­ter­noon.

The ac­ci­dent oc­curred shortly be­fore 2pm when three pony and traps were de­scend­ing from the Gap of Dun­loe to­wards Kate Kear­ney’s Cot­tage.

A fam­ily of six from the US were tak­ing a trip through the Gap, one of Kerry’s most fa­mous beauty spots, on the tra­di­tional pony and trap. They had ear­lier trav­elled from Ross Cas­tle to Lord Bran­don’s by boat.

The de­ceased, who have been named as Ros­alyn Joy Few and her Cana­dian part­ner Nor­mand Larose, were trav­el­ling in the first of the three carts. The other two carts in­cluded Ros­alyn’s daugh­ter and her hus­band and their two chil­dren who had all come to Ire­land to­gether on a fam­ily hol­i­day.

It is not known how the ac­ci­dent oc­curred, although there is spec­u­la­tion that some­thing may have spooked the horse, caus­ing him to bolt. The horse and trap and the two pas­sen­gers plunged from the nar­row road into a 20ft-deep ravine at an area known as The Turn­pike.

The pony­man, who was driv­ing the cart was un­in­jured in the ac­ci­dent. His horse had to be put down at the scene be­cause of its in­juries.

The pony­man, who has made the Gap of Dun­loe jour­ney through­out all of his work­ing life, is un­der­stood to be trau­ma­tised by the freak ac­ci­dent which oc­curred a few miles above Kate Kear­ney’s cot­tage near the Iron­bridge.

Su­per­in­ten­dent Flor Mur­phy said Gar­daí still have to es­tab­lish what ex­actly hap­pened and will speak to all wit­nesses, in­clud­ing the trap driver, in due course.

“We are happy that no other party was in­volved but we don’t know what hap­pened yet,” he said.

South Kerry Cornorer Ais­ling O’Sul­li­van at­tended the scene of the ac­ci­dent as did mem­bers of Kerry Moun­tain Res­cue who helped re­cover the bod­ies.

The Health and Safety Au­thor­ity are cur­rently li­ais­ing with Gar­daí fol­low­ing the ac­ci­dent but their ex­act in­volve­ment in the forth­com­ing in­ves­ti­ga­tion is not yet known.

The in­ci­dent is con­sid­ered a work ac­ci­dent be­cause the driver of the cart was at work but it is also a mat­ter for the gar­daí as it is a road traf­fic ac­ci­dent.

How­ever, the HSA has yet to fi­nalise if a full in­ves­ti­ga­tion will be car­ried out on the mat­ter.

If a full in­ves­ti­ga­tion were to be car­ried out it could re­sult in guide­lines or rec­om­men­da­tions be­ing put in place sur­round­ing the op­er­a­tion of the pony and trap ser­vice at the Gap of Dun­loe.

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