Swiss tourist dies after caravan blown off cliff in Galway

Latest: A woman has died after the caravan she was in was blown off a cliff onto a beach in the west of Ireland during Storm Ali, Gardaí have said.

The woman was believed to have been a Swiss tourist aged in her 50s.

She was alone in the caravan at the time.

Rescuers attended at Claddaghduff, near Clifden in Co Galway, this morning.

The west of Ireland has been battered by high winds caused by the Atlantic storm.

Footage of the scene shows the caravan broken up into several pieces as the tide threatens to wash it out to sea.

A statement from Gardaí said: "At approximately 7.45am a report was received that a caravan had blown off the cliff at the above location.

"A search was carried out at the scene on the beach and after a short time the body of a female in her 50s was recovered.

"Her body is expected to be removed to University College Galway for a post-mortem examination. The local coroner has been notified."

Reports said the victim was sleeping at the time when strong winds lifted the caravan from the ground.

The scene in Claddaghduff, near Clifden in Co Galway where a woman died after her caravan was blown off a cliff in Storm Ali. (Niall Carson/PA Wire)

It said the dwelling was blown onto a stretch of coastline and is not submerged in water.

Tributes

Tributes have been paid to the woman who died this morning.

President Michael D Higgins was among those who expressed condolences to the woman who died.

"I was deeply saddened to learn that Storm Ali has already claimed one victim today in Claddaghduff, Co Galway," he said.

"As President of Ireland, may I express my deepest condolences to her family.

"I would also take this opportunity to pay tribute to all those, in statutory and voluntary organisations around the country, who are helping and stand ready to assist their fellow citizens, and who are working to maintain essential services around the country."

The scene in Claddaghduff, near Clifden in Co Galway where a woman died after her caravan was blown off a cliff in Storm Ali. (Niall Carson/PA Wire)

Minister for Employment Regina Doherty also offered her condolences to the family of the dead woman.

Speaking in the Dáil on Wednesday, Ms Doherty said: "Can I on behalf of everyone in the House, including the Government, offer my sincere condolences to the family and friends of the lady who passed away this morning due to the adverse weather conditions in Galway."

The scene in Claddaghduff in Galway where a Swiss tourist in her 50's was killed as her caravan was blown into the sea by Storm Ali. Pic Paul Mealey

Emergency services responding after caravan blown off Galway cliff

Earlier: Gardaí and emergency services are at the scene of an incident in Claffaghduff near Clifden in Galway after a caravan was blown off a cliff.

It is reported that a woman in her 50s was in the caravan at the time.

A garda spokesman has said however that they are having difficulty accessing the caravan.

Nor could they confirm that a woman was inside when it was blown from the cliff.

A statement from Gardaí said: "Gardai in Clifden Co Galway are dealing with an incident which occurred at Claddaghduff, Co Galway this morning.

"A caravan has blown off a cliff. It is believed that a female in her 50s was in the caravan.

"Gardai and emergency services are currently at the scene."

It is understood that the caravan has landed on a stretch of coastline and is not in the water.

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