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DPP directs no prosecution following tragic accident

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By Anne Lucey

The Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) has directed there is to be no prosecution arising from a tragic accident in which an American couple travelling down the narrow Gap of Dunloe mountain pass in a trap last April were killed.
One of Killarney’s most popular tourist trips ended in tragedy when their horse suddenly and inexplicably left the road and plunged several metres down a rocky ravine.
Normand La Rose, 62, originally from Canada but living in Phoenix, Arizona, and his partner Joy Few aged 64, also of Arizona, were killed on April 9 last.
They were on an Easter family holiday with Ms Joy’s daughter, son-in-law and grandchildren travelling in a trap behind them.
The inquest into the death of Mr La Rose opened in Killarney last August for the purposes of issuing a death certificate.
Death was the result of blunt force trauma with severe brain injury due to a fall onto rocks from a pony and trap on April 9, 2018, South and East Kerry Coroner Aisling Quilter said.
The coroner adjourned the full inquest to when garda investigations would be concluded.
The inquest into Ms Few will open in March, but again is likely to be adjourned as the period for an appeal of the DPP direction will not have been reached.
The experienced jarvey escaped physical injury but was hospitalised for shock and the severely injured horse was put down at the scene.
Gardai have now confirmed the DPP has directed no prosecution be brought.
The gardai and family have a period of two months to appeal that direction.
However, this was essentially a freak and tragic accident at a point where there was ravine, investigators believe.
It remains a mystery what caused the horse to leave the road at the spot. Weather conditions were good and speed or erratic driving were not factors. Drone and other activity has been ruled out, it is understood.
A separate investigation by the Health and Safety Authority (HSA) into the accident was also conducted as it involved a work situation. The HSA, which has prosecuting powers separate to the garda, said on Friday it had concluded investigations and it will not be bringing charges.
What occurred was “essentially a road traffic accident", a spokesman said.The HSA would not be making any recommendations arising from the investigations.
The Gap of Dunloe road is public and it comes under the remit of Kerry County Council.
The council said it will await the outcome of the coroner's court.

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More than  38,000 homes, farms and businesses across the country without power

Gale force winds associated with Storm Barra, with gusts of over 130 km/h, are continuing to cause damage to the electricity network, currently affecting more than  38,000 homes, farms and businesses across the country. The damage is mainly attributable to fallen trees on overhead lines as a result of the high winds. ESB Networks’ crews will […]

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Gale force winds associated with Storm Barra, with gusts of over 130 km/h, are continuing to cause damage to the electricity network, currently affecting more than  38,000 homes, farms and businesses across the country.

The damage is mainly attributable to fallen trees on overhead lines as a result of the high winds. ESB Networks’ crews will continue to work late into the evening to restore power to those affected, where safe to do so, but unfortunately, some customers will remain without electricity overnight.

Since early morning and despite challenging conditions, ESB Networks have continued to restore power to customers across the country.
With the storm still crossing the country, more damage and interruptions to supply can be expected. ESB Networks reminds the public that if you come across fallen wires or damaged electricity network, never, ever touch or approach these as they may be LIVE and extremely dangerous.

All internal resources and contractors remain on alert and are responding to electricity outages once it is safe to do so. With a Red weather warning in the Southwest in effect until 9 pm tonight, and Co Clare until 1 am on Wednesday morning, some of our crews may not be mobilised on the ground until the worst of the severe weather passes.

We are advising all those impacted by outages that they should prepare to be without electricity overnight and into tomorrow, with some customers potentially without power beyond that. It is very important that any customers who use electrically powered medical devices should contact their healthcare professional to make alternative arrangements if necessary.

In addition to safety procedures associated with power restoration, crews continue to work under all national Covid-19 protocols with respect to hygiene, social distancing and PPE.

Customers without power can check for updates on when their fault is expected to be repaired at www.powercheck.ie

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“Avoid the Ballycasheen area of Killarney” Kerry County Council

County Kerry is now bearing the full brunt of Storm Barra and the Kerry Severe Weather Coordination Team reminds everyone that a Status RED weather warning, the highest such warning, remains in place for Kerry until 9pm. Kerry County Council is advising people to avoid the Ballycasheen area of Killarney Due to the significant risk […]

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County Kerry is now bearing the full brunt of Storm Barra and the Kerry Severe Weather Coordination Team reminds everyone that a Status RED weather warning, the highest such warning, remains in place for Kerry until 9pm.

Kerry County Council is advising people to avoid the Ballycasheen area of Killarney

Due to the significant risk to life and property, members of the public should remain indoors and not travel for the rest of the evening. Everyone is advised to follow updates on weather warnings from Met Éireann as well as the local media and social media.

There are an increasing number of roads closed or blocked because of fallen trees, electricity poles and spot flooding. Council crews will respond to issues when it is safe to do so and with the assistance of other agencies where required.

The N71 road at the Suspension Bridge in Kenmare remains closed to traffic as does the N70 Tralee to Castlemaine Road at the hairpin bends. There are a significant number of local and regional and local roads blocked or partially blocked by fallen trees, electricity poles and debris in all parts of the county so travel should be avoided.

The Ballycasheen Road in Killarney and Main Street in Ballybunion (and the surrounding area) should be avoided due to concerns about potential falling debris.

The Council’s emergency contact number is 066 7183588 and it will be operational through this evening and tonight.

Fallen electricity wires/poles and power outages should be reported to ESB Networks on 1800 372 999.

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