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Cork City Fire Brigade

Woman airlifted from top of Blarney Castle after fall

After being airlifted by the Rescue 115 helicopter, the woman was transported to hospital via ambulance.

VALENTIA COASTGUARD AND Rescue 115 helicopter joined units of the ambulance and the fire service this afternoon following an incident where a woman fell down the stairs of Blarney Castle in Co Cork.

It is understood the woman suffered a fall at the top of the castle shortly after 2pm today. She sustained non-life-threatening injuries in the incident.

However, a member of the Coastguard had to go down in the castle by winch before bringing her in to the helicopter. The helicopter landed in a field nearby and the woman was transported to hospital via ambulance.

In a statement, the Coastguard said its members on Shannon based helicopter R115 had successfully evacuated the woman who sustained injuries following a fall near the top of the castle.

“The operation known as a MEDEVAC, was coordinated by Valentia Coast Guard Rescue Coordination Centre on foot of a request from the HSE and Fire Service. The casualty was transferred into the care of the HSE,” a spokesperson for the Coastguard said.

In a post on Twitter, Cork City Fire Brigade described the rescue as a “difficult and technical extraction of a patient from Blarney Castle.” They praised the ambulance service and the Coastguard for “great interagency work” which gave the patient “the best care possible.”

Meanwhile, in September 2018 an American tourist who suffered a heart attack at the top of the Castle earlier that year returned to the famous tourist spot in Co Cork to kiss the stone.

The Irish Coastguard helicopter airlifted David Motte to Cork University Hospital on 20 April 2018 after he collapsed while visiting the castle. He complained of feeling unwell at 11am that day before falling to the ground.

Staff at the castle made every effort to assist Motte and the emergency services were called. Community first responders gave first aid to David prior to the arrival of the fire service and ambulance crew. A decision was made to airlift him because of the narrow steep stairwell in the building.

Motte (59) who is from North Carolina returned to the castle with his wife Joy to thank those who helped him with his rescue. He also wanted to finally kiss the Blarney Stone.

He told Cork’s 96FM that he was extremely grateful for the effort of staff and emergency services.

“We came back because we felt we had to because of the tremendous people in Ireland who basically saved my life and took care of Joy while this accident happened. We felt the need to come back to tell people of our love and appreciation for that. It wasn’t a question of “should we go back.” We had to go back.”

Motte said it was “sort of surreal” because he had no memory of the castle other than being in the tour bus pulling up to it.

“When we came back today as we were walking in to the grounds some memories came back. That was interesting. That was exciting. The amazing thing is that you would think having a cardiac arrest on an old 600-year-old castle was the worst place to do it. And it turned out to be the best thing.”

Blarney Castle is one of the most popular tourist attractions in the country and attracts thousands of visitors every year.

- Additional reporting from Tadgh McNally

Olivia Kelleher
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