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22-year-old student who died in West Cork cliff fall named locally as Conor King

The young man was recovered from the water by rescue divers at Garretstown.

Garretstown beach, file photo.
Garretstown beach, file photo.
Image: Flickr/Garnets1973

Updated Apr 25th 2021, 6:22 PM

A 22-YEAR-OLD STUDENT who fell down a 50-foot cliff blow-hole near the Old Head of Kinsale in West Cork as he was walking on rocks above has been named as Conor King of Douglas in Cork. 

Mr King of Broadale, Maryborough, Douglas in Cork, was recovered west of Garretstown, following an arduous rescue operation early today. The alarm was raised at 11.30pm yesterday.

The recovery operation for Conor was carried out by the Valentia Coast Guard assisted by the Shannon-based Sikorsky helicopter Rescue 115 as well as Gardaí, area RNLI units, the Old Head of Kinsale Coast Guard unit, and a specialist cave unit.

Rescuers managed to get a young man who had gone to the aid of his friend to safety. They also recovered the body of Conor who had fallen into the blowhole.

Conor, who had been camping with friends, was employed part-time in the leisure centre at Rochestown Park Hotel in Cork, where he was ‘held in high esteem’.

He was a third-year biomedical engineering student at the Munster Technological University (MTU) in Cork. He was popular among students and was viewed as an “all-rounder” academically and socially.

Dr Dan Collins, Head of Student Affairs, MTU, extended his condolences to the family at the loss of young Conor.

“Our thoughts are with Conor’s family to whom we offer our deepest sympathy, and with his friends, as well as his classmates at MTU, and colleagues at the Department and the Faculty.

“We will continue to keep Conor’s family in our thoughts as well as the other young man currently recovering.”

Conor was a former pupil of Coláiste an Phiarsaigh in Glanmire and Christian Brothers College in Co Cork.

He was known to be a good sportsman and strong swimmer. His body was transferred to Cork University Hospital (CUH) where a full post mortem examination will be carried out.

The young man who was trapped while attempting the rescue was treated for non-life-threatening injuries and hypothermia.

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Gardaí are treating the matter as a tragic accident. A file will be prepared for the Coroners’ Court. An inquest will be held in due course.

Friends described Conor as a popular young man who was loved by all who knew him.

The RNLI in Union Hall extended their condolences to the family of the deceased.

“Very sad news from Garrettstown beach in Co Cork this morning. Our thoughts and prayers are with this young man’s family and friends.”

About the author:

Olivia Kelleher

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