Man (22) dies after falling down inlet at Co Cork cliffs

Friend (23) tried to rescue man after ‘tragic accident’ on camping trip near Garretstown Beach

Garretstown Beach, Co Cork. Photograph: Google Street View

Garretstown Beach, Co Cork. Photograph: Google Street View


Sympathy has been expressed to the family of a 22-year-old student from Cork city, who died after falling down an inlet in coastal cliffs in West Cork on a camping trip with friends at the weekend.

Conor King from Douglas in Cork was camping with a group of 12 friends on cliffs near Garretstown near the Old Head of Kinsale when he fell down an inlet in the cliffs late on Saturday night.

Mr King was a third-year student at the Munster Technological University in Bishopstown in Cork where he was studying for his Bachelor of Engineering in Biomedical Engineering.

The accident happened at about 11.30pm on Saturday and the Irish Coast Guard Marine Rescue Co-Ordination Centre in Valentia began a rescue operation to try and reach and rescue Mr King.

It is understood that Mr King fell over 10 metres from the cliff and may have a hit some rocks and ended up in the sea in the inlet, which is located to the west of Garretstown Beach

A team of volunteers from The Old Head/Seven Heads Coast Guard Unit were assisted by local divers in trying to rescue Mr King from the water and he was brought ashore sometime after midnight.

However, Mr King, a past pupil of Christian Brothers College in Cork, who worked part-time as a life guard at Rochestown Park Hotel in Cork was pronounced dead at the scene by a local doctor.

Another member of the 13 strong camping group, a 23-year-old man from Glanmire in Cork city, had gone to Mr King’s aid after he fell from the inlet but he too had to be rescued from the sea.

He was rescued by divers and the Coast Guard team and was treated at the scene by HSE Paramedics who had been alerted together with a unit of the Cork County Fire Service.

The 23-year-old was taken by ambulance to Cork University Hospital where he was treated for possible hypothermia as a precautionary measure before he was later discharged.

Mr King’s body was removed to Cork University Hospital where a postmortem will take place on Monday morning before his remains are released to his grieving family.

Gardaí described Mr King’s death as “a tragic accident” and said they will begin preparing a file on the tragedy for an inquest at the West Cork Coroner’s Court later this year.

Dr Dan Collins, Head of Student Affairs at MTU, said the news of Mr King’s death had deeply shocked and saddened everyone at MTU and their thoughts were with his family at this difficult time.

“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 in the Department and at the Faculty,” he said.