Boy, 6, Saw Father Die in Clifftop Fall
Byline: Gordon Deegan
A MAN fishing from a clifftop fell head first to his death while his six-year-old son stood just yards away, an inquest heard yesterday.
Witness Susan Kiely recalled how she shouted to her husband to alert him as she saw off-duty garda Adrian Martin, 46, plunge from the 75ft-high Dunlicky Cliffs at Kilkee, Co. Clare on August 25 last.
She told gardai in her deposition: 'He was tugging at his fishing line. I roared to my husband "he is going, he is going" and I saw the man in the red jacket fall head first over the cliffs at 1.10pm.' Garda Martin of Carrickmacross, Co. Monaghan had been on a family holiday with his wife, Helen, and their son, Dermot, when the tragedy took place.
He had gone fishing with Dermot to Dunlicky at 11.20am that day.
In her deposition read out at the inquest, Mrs Kiely recalled seeing Garda Martin at the cliff edge, bent over.
She said that there had been a torrential downpour in the previous hour and that had made the rocks slippy, though she told the inquest: 'I don't know if he actually slipped. I didn't see him after that. I don't know how or where he landed.' Mrs Kiely said that she saw Garda Martin's son Dermot starting to move towards the cliff face.
She said: 'At that stage, my husband ran over to the child and took him to safety.' At the emotionally charged inquest, Garda Martin's wife, Helen, wept as Inspector Tom Kennedy read out her deposition.
Mrs Martin said that she had expected Adrian and Dermot back by 1.30pm. She said: 'I could not make contact with Adrian on the mobile phone.' Mrs Martin said that shortly after 2pm, she saw her son standing beside a patrol car that had stopped near their holiday apartment. …