An inquest into the death of an elderly farmer has ruled that he died as a result of falling off a cliff, while rescuing a calf, as reported in the Independent.
Farmer, Anthony O’ Sullivan, died on October 7th 2017 when his rope broke while he was trying to save a stranded calf cliff-side. The inquest gave a verdict of accidental death, with Coroner Frank O’Connell describing the fatal accident as a “horrible tragedy”.
The 82-year-old, father of two, died as a result of his injuries despite the best efforts of Castletownbere Coast and Cliff Rescue workers the inquest heard. The farmer from Allihies, Beara, Co. Cork had suffered severe head injuries as result of the fall and fractured his skull.
The farmer was trying to winch a stranded calf on the beach below to the top of the cliff, when he fell from the height of 34-metres. Neighbours said that man locals had tried to help the farmer walk the calf from the beach, though this proved unsuccessful. This is why it was decided a winch was the best option.
The idea proposed using a tractor to help lift the calf, though after several foiled attempts they had to move to another area of the cliff and try again. It was here that the calf fell back down to the beach during one rescue attempt. This is when Mr. O’Sullivan lost his footing and fell off the edge.
The farmer was pronounced dead at the scene and a post mortem concluded that he died due to the skull fracture, multiple internal injuries and traumatic injuries to the brain. A verdict of accidental death was then returned.