Service for woman swept out to sea while scattering ashes

Family and friends of a woman drowned while scattering her sister’s ashes in Connemara paid their final farewells at a service held in Dublin on Tuesday.

The 49-year-old woman had been scattering her sister’s ashes off the shoreline in Doonlaughan Bay, Ballyconneely, last Friday afternoon when a swell suddenly swept her out to sea.

Siobhán Monaghan was originally from Naas and Terenure, Dublin, but she had been a resident at Canons Lane, Clifden in recent years immersing herself in local community activities and the work of Clifden Arts Festival. A service was held on Tuesday afternoon at Mount Jerome Cemetery and Crematorium in Dublin.

Ms Monaghan and her brother-in-law had been visiting Doonlaughan Bay to carry out the wishes of her late sister. However, as they were carrying out the ceremony on a cliff path they both got into difficulty and were swept out to sea at around lunchtime. After several failed attempts to reach Ms Monaghan the brother-in-law managed to swim to safety and raise the alarm. Malin Coast Guard then alerted both the Sligo-based Sikorsky helicopter and lifeboats from Clifden and a search and rescue operation was put into place. However at around 4pm the body of Ms Monaghan was recovered on the shoreline by Cleggan Coast Guard unit.

The weather conditions on the day were described as poor with a south westerly wind and good swell washing in onto the rocks. Following the incident the Irish Coast Guard warned the public against going out onto exposed coasts, cliffs, piers, harbour walls, beaches, and promenades during storming weather.

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