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Community rallies to help out family of devoted Donoughmore dad ‘Cass’

Fund set up to help cost of education for children who lost their heroic father in Australian drowning tragedy


The late Cassan Cowman with his children Ormond, Ella and Torin.

The late Cassan Cowman with his children Ormond, Ella and Torin.

The late Cassan Cowman with his children Ormond, Ella and Torin.


MORE than €23,500 has been raised through a GoFundMe page set up to help support the family of a heroic Donoughmore man who tragically drowned in Australia while rescuing his son from waterfall rapids.

Cassan Cowman (49) was enjoying a day out with his wife and three young children at Wappo Falls in Queensland on January 2 when tragedy struck.

After his son slipped and fell into the fast-flowing waters at the popular tourist location, Mr Cowman jumped in and pushed his son to the bank where he was helped to safety by passers-by.

However, Mr Cowman who was known to family and friends as ‘Cass’, did not re-surface and following an extensive search by emergency services his body was found by divers sometime later in what local police described as “treacherous” waters.

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Mr Cowman’s wife Trish paid a moving tribute to her late husband, whom she described as a “fabulous father” who was “passionate about politics and social justice”.

“Our Irish and Australian families and friends are mourning the loss of Cassan, our father, husband, brother, friend. At Wappa Falls Cassan jumped into the falls to rescue his sons; he pushed them out of the water, but was unable to save himself,” she said.

Mrs Cowman spoke about how Cassan had moved from his “beloved county Cork” with his family to Australia 15-months ago and how he was “in love with our beaches, blue skies and bushland, and went exploring with his family at every opportunity”.

“Cassan was a fabulous father to his three children, dryly funny and very passionate about ethics, politics, social justice, and of course Ireland beating the All Blacks in Dublin.”

Mr Cowman is survived by his wife, their children Ormond (11), Ella (9) and Torin (7). He is also survived by his brother Mark and sister-in-law Rachel.

Mr Cowman had worked as a software developer with Lincor, a company based on the Monahan Road in Cork for more than a decade before moving to Australia and continued to work for them remotely.

Work colleague Kieran Donnelly described the late Mr Cowman as a devoted father and a family man at heart”.

“Cassan always had pictures of his children and their drawings in the office and you could see those around him when during online calls. Casson was an affable, friendly and sociable kind of a guy and he and his wife were very active in the community, for example helping out in the local scout group before they moved to Australia,” said Mr Donnelly.

“His wife is from Australia and they moved out to be closer to her relatives. News of his death came as a huge shock and we all hope that people will support the GoFundMe page so his children can have the best possible future they can,” he added.

Tracey Ann Lutton, who set up the GoFundMe page wrote that Ormond, Ella and Torin were the “apples of Cass’ eye like any parent he wanted the best for their futures”.

“Cass was charismatic, Irish to a fault, enjoyed a whiskey but at the end of the day ultimately he simply loved his family. He was a devoted family man through and through, working day and night to provide for his family,” she wrote.

“Please help us honour Cass through raising funds for his children’s ongoing education (though the GoFundMe page) to help ensure they live the lives Cass wanted”

Local county councillor and Donoughmore native Michael Looney said the close-knit local community was shocked and stunned following Mr Cowman’s death.

“The Cowman family is highly respected within the local community and it is very clear that Casson Cowman was devoted to his children and was a real family man,” said Cllr Looney.

“I can guarantee the people of Donoughmore and the surrounding area will be more than generous when it comes to donating to the family and helping give his children all the help that they possibly can, for their future”, he added.

Donations to the fund in honour of Mr Cowman can be made to the ‘Cowman Family Education’ GoFundMe page.