A Swiss woman in her fifties lost her life in an incident in Claddaghduff early yesterday morning as Storm Ali bore down on the country. The woman, who is understood to have been visiting the region, was staying in a caravan at Acton’s Beach in Claddaghduff when the structure was blown down a 20ft drop.
Emergency services were alerted to the incident at around 7.45am and the woman’s body was recovered following a search of the area at the bottom of the cliff. The caravan was destroyed in the fall.
The woman’s body was removed to UHG for a post mortem examination. She had not been named at the time of going to press.
President Michael D Higgins extended his sympathy to the woman’s family in a statement. “I was deeply saddened to learn that storm Ali has already claimed one victim today in Claddagduff, 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.”
Galway bore some of the worst of yesterday’s storm force winds, with gusts of up to 140kph recorded at Mace Head before Met Eireann lost contact with the Connemara weather station at the height of the storm. Thousands of homes were without electricity yesterday, while hundreds of fallen trees forced road closures in areas throughout the city and county.