DPP directs no prosecution to be brought following fatal horse and trap accident

An American couple were killed in the Gap of Dunloe on Easter holiday


The Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) has directed there is to be no prosecution arising from a double fatal accident involving a horse and trap in the Gap of Dunloe near Killarney last April.

An American couple travelling down the narrow Gap of Dunloe mountain pass in a trap were killed when their horse suddenly and inexplicably left the road and plunged several metres down a rocky ravine.

Normand Larose (62), originally from Canada but living in Phoenix, Arizona, and his partner Joy Few (64), also of Arizona, died on April 9th last.

They were on an Easter holiday with Ms Few’s daughter, son-in-law and grandchildren travelling in a trap behind them.

The inquest into the death of Mr Larose opened in Killarney last August for the purposes of issuing a death certificate. Death was the result of blunt force trauma with severe brain injury due to a fall onto rocks from a pony and trap, South and East Kerry Coroner Aisling Quilter said.

The coroner adjourned the full inquest until Garda investigations would be concluded.

The inquest into Ms Few will open in March, but again is likely to be adjourned as the period for an appeal of the DPP direction will not have been reached.

The experienced jarvey Dan Casey, from Kilgarvan, escaped physical injury but was hospitalised for shock.

Gardaí have now confirmed the DPP has directed no prosecution be brought.

The gardaí and family have a period of two months to appeal that direction.

However this was essentially a freak and tragic accident at a point where there was ravine, investigators believe.

It remains a mystery what caused the horse leave the road at the spot. Weather conditions were good and speed or erratic driving were not factors. Drone and other activity has been ruled out, it is understood.

A separate investigation by the Health and Safety Authority (HSA) into the accident was also conducted as it involved a work situation. The HSA which has prosecuting powers separate to the Garda said on Friday it had concluded investigations and it would not be bringing charges.

What occurred was “essentially a road traffic accident.” a spokesman said. The HSA would not be making any recommendations arising from the investigations.