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Sunday 18 February 2018

Gardai confirm no child with drowned woman as search stood down

An extensive search of the mouth of Lough Swilly and nearby coastline was called off for the night at 11pm, with no trace found of the child
An extensive search of the mouth of Lough Swilly and nearby coastline was called off for the night at 11pm, with no trace found of the child

Caroline Crawford, Cormac McQuinn and Breda Heffernan

A MASSIVE search and rescue operation launched amid fears that a child was missing has been stood down.

Gardai in Buncrana, Co Donegal, made contact with the family of the deceased woman late last night and established that no other family member was missing.

This information was relayed to the Coastguard and the search was stood down.

Members of the Coastguard had launched a massive search last night, before finishing at 11pm.

The woman is understood to have drowned off Rockstown Harbour, on the Inishowen Peninsula, Co Donegal.

An extensive search of the mouth of Lough Swilly and nearby coastline was called off for the night at 11pm.

The search was mounted after gardai were told that the woman had been seen with a child earlier in the day.

Several units of the coastguard and life boat services as well gardai and the rescue helicopter from Sligo combed the water and surrounding coastal area. The PSNI is also assisting.

The woman was from the Derry area but had been living in Buncrana, Co Donegal.

She was pronounced dead at the scene and her remains were removed to Letterkenny General Hospital.

The alarm was raised after her body was found by somebody walking on the beach at Rockstown Harbour at about 5.30pm.

Gardai are treating her death as a "tragic accident".

A garda spokesman said: "The body of a female was recovered from the sea at Rockstown beach near Clonmany at approximately 5.30pm.

"She was taken to Letterkenny hospital and gardai at Buncrana are investigating.

"The search is continuing because they did receive a report that the possibility was that there was child with the woman but we're not able to confirm that."

According to the Coastguard, "a large number of units" were involved in the intensive search of the area.

Independent Buncrana Town councillor Nicholas Crossan last night said the woman's death was "devastating news".

He said the beach at Rockstown Harbour was "a very popular area".

Irish Independent

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