'It’s going to be a big ask... but I hope he does come back' - fellow jarveys show support for driver in freak pony-trap accident
THE jarvey injured in the pony and trap accident that killed two tourists in Co Kerry is understood to be still “very upset” following the tragedy.
Experienced driver Dan Casey was hospitalised following the accident in which Rosalyn Joy Few (64) and her partner Normand Larose (62) died when they were thrown down a steep ravine at a beauty spot by the Gap of Dunloe.
The couple, who had been visiting from Phoenix, Arizona, were on holiday in Ireland with their family.
It is believed the horse may have been startled and bolted, causing the fall.
A source close to Mr Casey said it may take some time for him to get back to work.
“Of course he’s very upset. With anything like this, it will take time for him to get back into it,” the source said.
Around 30 ponymen cover the area, taking thousands of tourists out for drives around the valleys each year.
As was the case on Tuesday, the jaunting cars near Kate Kearney’s Cottage lay idle yesterday.
No pony and trap tours are expected to resume until at least the weekend, out of respect for the dead couple and driver Mr Casey.
Fellow jarvey Paul Cremin, speaking on behalf of his colleagues, said everyone hoped Mr Casey would return to work before long.
Mr Cremin said the other ponymen were “shaken” following the accident, adding: “It’s a disaster. It was a freak accident, like a car accident but this was with a horse.
“It’s going to be a big ask for him to come back, but I hope he does come back.”
Mr Cremin said that the ponymen have been working along that route for hundreds of years.
A book of condolences was placed just inside Kate Kearney’s restaurant for locals to record their respects.
Mr Casey and members of his family attended a vigil near Kate Kearney’s Cottage on Tuesday in memory of the tragic tourists.
Local TD Michael Healy-Rae said: “Everybody is traumatised by what has happened.”
The couple were on holiday in Ireland with Ms Few’s daughter, son-in-law and two grandchildren.
It is understood the bodies of the pair are yet to be released, and it may be some days before their repatriation to the United States.
An official from the US embassy and a garda liaison officer are understood to be offering support to the family.
A niece of Mr Larose, who was originally from Quebec, Canada, said earlier this week that the whole family were “in shock”.
Maude Larose said: “My uncle was a very happy person who loved life very much.”