Friday, August 05, 2022

Vivienne Clarke

Post-mortem examinations will be carried out later on the bodies of a man and woman who died in a drowning tragedy in Co Kerry on Thursday.

It is understood the pair were siblings who were not from the area and were holidaying in Ballybunion when the incident occurred.

The alarm was raised just after 6pm on Thursday evening after the man in his 50s was spotted in difficulty in the sea off Men’s beach.

Emergency services began CPR, but he was pronounced dead a short time later.

The woman in her 60s was found in the water during a follow-up search, but was pronounced dead after being treated at the scene.

Kerry councillor Robert Beasley has told of the shock and sadness in the town of Ballybunion following the double drowning on Thursday evening.

Newstalk Breakfast and RTÉ Radio’s Morning Ireland, the Sinn Féin local representative said people in the area were “shocked beyond belief”.

Cllr Beasley said he had passed by the beach an hour earlier and had noticed there were around 700 people on both beaches, “making sandcastles and bathing”.

Later, he said he met families returning from the beach: “I met a lot of parents and children coming off the beach and they were in a really upset, distressed state.”

He said the people were especially shocked and very upset when the bodies were brought to shore.

He said conditions at the time would not have been considered dangerous, explaining there had been a stiff north-westerly breeze and the water was choppy.

There were lifeguards on duty at the time, he added.

“The next couple of days will be very difficult. It’s very upsetting,” Cllr Beasley said.

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