Gardaí treating woman’s death as a tragedy
Gardaí are treating as a tragedy the death of an 88-year-old woman who was found lying in a critical condition in a stream by the side of a busy road near Macroom.
It is now feared the woman may have tripped and fallen into the stream by the roadside at Rylane after becoming disorientated and confused in the early hours of Wednesday morning.
The woman was discovered lying unconscious by the side of the road at Annagannihy Bridge at Rylane shortly after 6.40am.
She was spotted by a passing motorist who was shocked to see what he thought was an arm and hand extending out from undergrowth by the side of a ditch and stream.
The man stopped, discovered the elderly woman lying in the stream in a semi-conscious state and immediately alerted Gardaí and paramedics.
The woman was immediately rushed to Cork University Hospital (CUH). Tragically, she died several hours after being admitted.
It emerged that while the woman had injuries consistent with a fall she was suffering from severe exposure and hypothermia.
It is unclear how long the woman may have been lying by the side of the road, which is used for access to both Macroom and Millstreet.
The roadside gully has a stream roughly 20cm deep. Driving conditions at the time were described as extremely difficult with drizzle and mist.
Macroom Gardaí are appealing for public assistance to clarify the precise circumstances in which the woman was injured.
Chief Supt Con Cadogan said the Garda investigation would be directed by the results of a post mortem examination to be carried out at CUH.
The pensioner - who has not yet been formally named as all family members have not yet been traced and informed of the tragedy - is understood to be from the mid Cork area though not from Rylane.
When discovered, she was wearing a dark coat and dark clothing.
Gardaí are asking anyone who may have travelled in the Rylane area between 6pm on Tuesday evening and 6.40am today to contact them.
Detectives would especially like to talk to anyone whose vehicle is fitted with a dash-cam.
Gardaí hope to be able to determine the last known movements of the woman and what time she went walking in the area.
Anyone with information is asked to contact Macroom Garda Station on (026) 20590 or their nearest Garda Station.
On Wednesday, Macroom Gardaí sealed off the area where the woman was found to facilitate a full forensic examination.