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Ponyman “desperately” tried to control his horse – inquest hears

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By Anne Lucey

The inquests into the deaths of two American tourists killed in the Gap of Dunloe last year heard how the spot where they died was treacherous and that a barrier should be put in place.

Rosalyn Joy Few (64) of Phoenix, Arizona, and her partner Normand Larose (62) originally from Canada, both died at the Gap of Dunloe on April 9, 2018 of blunt force trauma with severe traumatic brain injury due to a fall on rocks from a pony and trap, post mortems had found.

No external factor such as a passing car was involved when the horse and trap suddenly left the road, and nothing spooked the horse.

The horse had worked as a jarvey horse in Killarney, it knew it was slipping and it tried to resist falling over the edge, the inquest in Killarney on Wednesday heard.

Ponyman Dan Casey had “desperately” tried to control his horse and had jumped from the rear door of the trap as horse and trap left the road shortly after the iron bridge.

The Gap of Dunloe traditional traps were very different to the Killarney four wheel jaunting cars in that they had no braking system, an expert garda witness said.

From his examination of the road markings, the horse’s left front shoe lost traction and the weight of the tub and the passengers pushed him over the edge.

Speed was not a factor. Both trap and horse were in good condition and the horse had been shod in recent weeks. Garda O’Brien said he felt there should be a barrier and also brakes on traps.

The six-man jury returned a verdict of accidental death after almost three hours of evidence. They also recommended that barriers be erected.

Dan Casey (53) of Dunloe Upper, Beaufort, told the inquest he was a ponyman for 37 years; he was on his fourth day back to work for the 2018 season. He picked up Ms Few and Mr Normand at 12.30pm at Brandon’s Cottage.

“Suddenly without warning my horse Johnny bolted,” Mr Casey said. He tried to bring him back into control and he himself fell backwards. The entire accident took 30 seconds, he said.

The horse had been working in Killarney as a jarvey horse before he bought him, and from June 2017 to October Mr Casey used the horse in the Gap, he said. Johnny the horse had “a very quiet demeanour” and he had had no problems with him, "absolutely no problems", Mr Casey said.

“I have never previously had an accident on the Gap,” Mr Casey said.

The horse was “at walking pace” at the time.

Ms Quilter thanked the many witnesses who gave evidence. Superintendent Flor Murphy thanked the Kerry Mountain Rescue Team for their recovery of the bodies

Supt. Murphy on behalf of the Gardai, and foreman Paudie Nagle on behalf of the jury, also extended their condolences.

Solicitor for the families of the deceased, Adrian Hegarty, said they wished to thank the people of Killarney, their hotel and their bus driver and other services.

Solicitor for ponyman Dan Casey, Dan O’Connor, extended “the deepest and most heartfelt sympathy”. There was not a day Mr Casey did not pray for the deceased, he said.

 

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Relegation battle has town divided

By Sean Moriarty This is bigger than the county final itself – with the main prize on offer being bragging rights in the town. After an unprecedented run of events during this year’s Kerry Senior Football championship Killarney’s two biggest clubs, Dr Crokes and Killarney Legion are set to face off in a relegation battle […]

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By Sean Moriarty

This is bigger than the county final itself – with the main prize on offer being bragging rights in the town.

After an unprecedented run of events during this year’s Kerry Senior Football championship Killarney’s two biggest clubs, Dr Crokes and Killarney Legion are set to face off in a relegation battle that is sure to divide the town.

In sporting terms, the outcome of the big game, set for December 5, is simple enough. The winner stays in the Senior Championship next season and the losers will have to play in the Intermediate Championship.

Fans of the black and amber or the green and white face an anxious week. Winning the county title is one thing – consigning your cross town rivals to second division football in football is altogether a bigger prize.

Senior officials from both clubs are being very guarded on a potential outcome as both sides know the significance of this play off.

“It is a pity that two Killarney clubs, with a long tradition of playing football in the top tier, find themselves in the position of having to play off to avoid relegation,” Matt O’Neill, Cathaoirleach of Dr Crokes, told the Killarney Advertiser.

“Both teams will fight tooth and nail to stay in the senior ranks. I am confident that on Sunday week our lads will do themselves and the club proud, as always, and give their all in the quest to keep the black and amber to the fore.”

Crokes are based off the Lewis Road with Legion a short distance away on the other side of the bypass.

“Everyone has an opinion on this,” Legion PRO, Elaine O’Donoghue, told the Killarney Advertiser. “Both sides will be nervous – may the best team win. There are a lot of questions, are the Crokes suffering after defeat to Kerins O’Rahillys [in the semi-final]? Are our lads suffering after losing to St Brendan’s for the third year in a row?”

Every football fan will be keeping a close eye on next weekend’s Intermediate County Final too which takes place on December 4.

The winners of the match between Beaufort and Tralee side Na Gael will be automatically promoted to replace the losers of the Killarney play-off in the Senior Championship next season.

Should Beaufort prevail, a (relatively) local team could replace a town team in the top flight.

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Handball off the wall in Killarney

By Con Dennehy The popularity of handball as one of the fastest growing sports in Kerry is set to continue in the East Kerry region with the continued development of Spa/Killarney Handball Club. On Monday night the progressive club hosts a Beginners and Advanced League at their magnificent indoor facility located at the Spa GAA grounds […]

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By Con Dennehy

The popularity of handball as one of the fastest growing sports in Kerry is set to continue in the East Kerry region with the continued development of Spa/Killarney Handball Club.

On Monday night the progressive club hosts a Beginners and Advanced League at their magnificent indoor facility located at the Spa GAA grounds in Killarney. The club boasts two state-of-the-art indoor handball walls which were designed and built by local player and sportsman Mike Casey. It was opened in May 2018.

“On Monday night the games will tip off at 7pm with 11 players in the Advanced League and seven in the Beginners League. The format of the competition will see quarter finals in the first round progressing to overall winners on the night. It promises to be a great night of exciting handball and we welcome spectators,” said Eoin O’Donoghue, secretary of the club.

Competitors taking part in the Beginners League are Sheila Kelliher, Elena O’Donoghue, Niamh Faulds, Rosin King, Brid Horgan, Neill Horgan and Sinead Moriarty.

Players signed up for the Advanced League include Aoife Walsh, John Daniel Cronin, Eoin O’Donoghue, Kieran O’Brien, Brendan O’Donoghue, Michael Clifford, Evan Enright, Eoghan Daly, Brian McEvoy, Jerry Cronin and Maggie Quirke.

One player set to receive a warm welcome will be Brendan O’Donoghue. At the 2019 All-Ireland Hardball championships in Mayo, Brendan became the first Spa/Killarney man to win an All-Ireland Handball medal. He achieved this unique and much publicised honour in the highly ranked Master’s 55 B final.

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