Tuesday 18 December 2018

Skeleton found on rocks was woman buried at sea

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Stock Image

Pat Flynn

Gardai have confirmed that skeletal remains found on the Clare coast last month are those of a woman who had been buried at sea.

The discovery was made on September 19 when walkers reported finding a body on rocks at Poulsallagh, near Fanore, in the north of the county.

Gardai and the Irish Coast Guard recovered the remains. It is understood that the skeleton was almost intact.

The remains were removed to University Hospital Limerick for a post-mortem examination.

It is understood that the pathologist immediately confirmed that a post-mortem had previously been carried out on the body and gardai began working on the theory that the remains had been buried at sea.

DNA analysis established that the body was that of a woman from Co Clare who died in late December 2016 and had been buried at sea at her request.

Superintendent John Galvin said: "We have confirmed that the skeletal remains were those of a woman from the county who was buried at sea off the west coast.

"We know the identity of this woman and know she passed away at the end of 2016. We have already been in contact with her family."

In Ireland, there is no legislation governing burials at sea. The Merchant Shipping (Salvage and Wreck) Act (1993) enables the Transport Minister to introduce regulations covering such burials.

However, no such regulations have been made to date, with the Department of Transport developing voluntary guidelines for those considering a burial at sea. These guidelines are based on previous experience and seek to prevent distressing situations including a body returning to shore.

Sunday Independent

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