A POIGNANT prayer service was held this evening close to the scene where two American visitors lost their lives in the appalling tragedy at the Gap of Dunloe.
The intimate open air ceremony was held at the horse and carriage stand close to Kate Kearney’s Cottage and it was attended by ponymen and their families, neighbours, members of the close-knit Beaufort community and many others shocked by the appalling accident.
The people of Killarney were represented by Mayor Niall Kelleher and the prayers were led by Paddy O’Donoghue, also from Killarney.
64-year-old Rosalyn Few from Phoenix, Arizona and her partner, Normand Larose, died when the pony and trap left the road and tumbled down a rocky ravine, on a hairpin bend, less than two miles from Kate Kearney’s Cottage.
They had been staying in a hotel in Killarney with Ms Few’s daughter, son-in-law and two grandchildren who were travelling in another pony and trap behind the ill-fated vehicle. They didn’t witness the accident but they did come across it.
Gardai have appointed a family liaison officer to support the family in any way possible and the Kerry branch of the Irish Hotels Federation has also stepped in provide assistance and support to the woman’s daughter, son-in-law and grandchildren.
Help will be provided in dealing with the post tragedy formalities including the repatriation of remains, ongoing accommodation requirements, changing travel arrangements and liaison with the undertakers, airlines and the US Embassy.
A Garda spokesman said: “The remaining family members are in a state of shock but we will give them every possible support and assistance to try to overcome the difficulties and challenges they will have in the coming days as they deal with the reality of taking their loved ones back to the United States”.
A book of condolence has been opened in the town hall in Killarney and members of the public have been invited to sign it and leave a message of sympathy for the family.
The bodies of the two victims were removed to University Hospital Kerry for State Pathologist, Dr Margot Bolster, to conduct post mortem examinations to establish the exact cause of death.
Any witnesses to the accident are asked to contact Killarney Garda Station on 064-6631222.
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