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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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Hike up Strickeen Mountain for air ambulance

  Locals and visitors are being invited to join a guided ascent of Strickeen Mountain on July 4 to raise funds for the Irish Community Air Ambulance. The hike, described as an easy to moderate climb and family friendly well be led by Killarney-based Irish Community Air Ambulance volunteer and tour guide Krzysztof Szwab. It […]

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Locals and visitors are being invited to join a guided ascent of Strickeen Mountain on July 4 to raise funds for the Irish Community Air Ambulance.

The hike, described as an easy to moderate climb and family friendly well be led by Killarney-based Irish Community Air Ambulance volunteer and tour guide Krzysztof Szwab.

It is expected that the 7.5km hike will take around three hours to complete and participants will benefit from the expertise of Krzysztof for a minimum donation €10 per person or €20 per family.

Strickeen Mountain is the eastern most peak of the MacGillycuddy’s Reeks and the hike will start from the Gap of Dunloe at 11am on the day.

As an added bonus fruit and water, donated by local supermarkets including Lidl, Aldi and Daly’s SuperValu, will be provided. The first 20 to register will receive a limited edition Irish Community Air Ambulance face covering snood.

“This is an ideal opportunity for someone who has never climbed this mountain, but wants to do it with the help of an experienced guide,” Donie Lucey, who is one of the Irish Community Air Ambulance’s chief fundraisers, said.

Further details are available from Donie on 086 854 5873 or from Krzysztof on 087 7589697 after 6pm.

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Golf club launches Summer Series competition

By Sean Moriarty Competitive golfing has resumed at Killarney Golf and Fishing Club marking another step towards normality in the locality. The O’Mahony’s Point course hosted an open singles event on Monday last and this competition will continue every Monday for the rest of the summer. Meanwhile the club’s ‘TaylorMade’ Summer Series gets underway at […]

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By Sean Moriarty

Competitive golfing has resumed at Killarney Golf and Fishing Club marking another step towards normality in the locality.

The O’Mahony’s Point course hosted an open singles event on Monday last and this competition will continue every Monday for the rest of the summer.

Meanwhile the club’s ‘TaylorMade’ Summer Series gets underway at the famed Killeen course this coming Wednesday (June 23). This series will continue every Wednesday for eight weeks and top five scorers on each date will qualify for a Grand Final which is scheduled for Sunday, August 22.

“We are delighted to launch the ‘TaylorMade’ Summer Series. This is a singles stableford event taking place on the Irish Open course, Killeen,” said the club’s marketing manager Meg Dalton. “With over €8,000 worth of prizes to be won, this is an event not to be missed. The first opportunity to qualify for the grand final is Wednesday.”

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Investigation continues into New St fire

  Killarney Gardai are continuing their investigation into the cause of a fire on New Street last week. The fire broke out at the Eviston House Hotel in the early hours of Bank Holiday Monday (June 7). It started in a room just off the kitchen on the first floor and spread along the venting […]

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Killarney Gardai are continuing their investigation into the cause of a fire on New Street last week.

The fire broke out at the Eviston House Hotel in the early hours of Bank Holiday Monday (June 7).

It started in a room just off the kitchen on the first floor and spread along the venting and ducting on the first, second and third floors. There was heavy smoke throughout the hotel but all guests were evacuated safely.

The landmark hotel, which also houses the famous Danny Mann pub, has not yet reopened, and local Gardai are still investigating its cause.

“The investigation is ongoing,” a Killarney Gardai Station spokesperson told the Killarney Advertiser. “We are establishing the full facts in relation to the fire.”

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