Five emergency call outs made to recover bodies off Cliffs of Moher in 2021

ireland
Five Emergency Call Outs Made To Recover Bodies Off Cliffs Of Moher In 2021 Five Emergency Call Outs Made To Recover Bodies Off Cliffs Of Moher In 2021
The body of the 38-year old Galway man was retrieved by members of the Doolin Unit in a search undertaken in conjunction with Rescue 115 helicopter the same afternoon the man was seen jumping off the Cliffs of Moher on Monday, May 31st last.
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Gordon Deegan

There have been five emergency call outs this year for the recovery of bodies off one of the country’s best known beauty spots, the Cliffs of Moher.

At the Co Clare coroner’s court in Ennis concerning the recovery of one of the persons, a grieving mother told her son's inquest: “We were so lucky to get a body so quickly because we are aware that there are so many bodies still missing for whatever reason.”

The body of the 38-year old Co Galway man was retrieved by members of the Doolin Unit in a search undertaken in conjunction with Rescue 115 helicopter the same afternoon the man was seen jumping off the Cliffs of Moher on Monday, May 31st last.

At the inquest with members of her family, the mother added: “It is a small comfort but it is a comfort. You hear of so many bodies still missing. We would go cracked if the body was still missing - you would feel for the mothers and fathers of those people still missing. It is only when this happened to ourselves and that you hear of it now, it goes to your heart.”

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In her words at the end of the inquest, the mother praised the work of the currently stood down Doolin Unit of the Irish Coastguard in quickly recovering her son’s body from waters off the Cliffs of Moher earlier this year.

The mother told the inquest that the members of Doolin Unit were ‘great’ in the work that they did along with Rescue 115 helicopter in retrieving her son’s body so quickly. The mother also praised the Gardai for their work on the day.

Eyewitness account

An eyewitness out walking along the top of the Cliffs one kilometre east of the visitor centre saw the man jumping off the Cliffs between 3pm and 4pm.

The man said in his deposition: “I noticed a man pacing up and down the side of the Cliff. He had his head down and looked like he didn’t want to talk to anyone.”

“After walking past the man I turned back to see if he was alright. However, before I could talk to him, he took a big run up and jumped off the cliff."

The eyewitness alerted the authorities and in his deposition, volunteer with the Doolin Unit and paramedic, Ray Murphy stated that his pager went off on the afternoon of May 31st where he was informed that a recovery operation was required for a body off the Cliffs of Moher.

Mr Murphy stated that he recovered the body from the water and the body was taken back to Doolin coastguard centre where the body was formally identified by a brother of the man at 5.29pm.

The inquest heard that the man had texted ‘goodbye’ to his mother from the Cliffs of Moher before jumping off the cliff edge.

A post mortem of the man’s body found that he died from severe head and chest injuries from a fall.

County Coroner, Isobel O’Dea told the man’s family that she had no option but to return a suicide verdict in the case.

Ms O’Dea told the family that going through the evidence “I can only imagine how harrowing this was for all of you”.

If you have been affected by any of the issues raised in this article, you can freephone the Samaritans 24 hours a day for confidential support at 116 123 or email jo@samaritans.org.

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