Storm Ali: Woman who died in caravan was visiting from Europe

Storm force 11 winds batter Ireland amid orange alert

Gardaí from Clifden Garda station survey the wreckage from the caravan that was washed into the sea at Claddaghduff. Photograph: Conor Mc Keown

Gardaí from Clifden Garda station survey the wreckage from the caravan that was washed into the sea at Claddaghduff. Photograph: Conor Mc Keown

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A woman has died after the caravan in which she was staying was swept off sandy banks onto a beach at Claddaghduff, Connemara in violent storm force 11 winds earlier this morning.

The woman, who was in her fifties and visiting the area from Europe, was on her own in the caravan at Acton’s beach when it was lifted by a strong gust sometime between 7.45 and 8am.

Emergency services were alerted, and efforts were made by the Irish Coast Guard, gardaí and Galway Fire Brigade to remove the caravan from the tideline. The body of the woman was recovered on the beach close to the caravan, which was substantially damaged.

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The scene in Claddaghduff, Co Galway where a tourist in her 50s was killed as her caravan was blown into the sea by Storm Ali. Photograph: Paul Mealey
The scene in Claddaghduff, Co Galway where a tourist in her 50s was killed as her caravan was blown into the sea by Storm Ali. Photograph: Paul Mealey
The woman in her 50s was visiting from Europe when the caravan she was in was blown onto a beach
The woman in her 50s was visiting from Europe when the caravan she was in was blown onto a beach

Her body is still at the scene and gardaí have said it will be taken to University Hospital, Galway for a post mortem.

The violent storm force 11 winds which recorded speeds of 143 km per hour at Mace Head caused major disruption across the country with fallen trees closing roads.

President Michael D Higgins said he was “deeply saddened to learn that storm Ali has already claimed one victim today in Claddagduff, Co Galway.

“As President of Ireland, may I express my deepest condolences to her family. I would also take this opportunity to pay tribute to all those, in statutory and voluntary organisations around the country, who are helping and stand ready to assist their fellow citizens, and who are working to maintain essential services around the country.”

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