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New cliff warning after man dies in 50ft fall

FRESH warnings were issued today following the death of a man in a fall from a cliff at Howth.

A Howth Coast Guard spokesman appealed to people to stay on public paths while walking in the popular Dublin beauty spot because of the dangers of falls from cliffs.

A man plunged to his death at Casanna Rock at Howth last Saturday. He fell around 50ft when he lost his footing.

Dublin Coast Guard received a call from a member of the public before 3pm that someone had fallen off the cliffs on Howth Head. The caller was a tourist and was not sure of the exact location. Howth Coast Guard Patrol Boat was on the water nearby and the crew began searching the waters below the cliff.

A Coast Guard heights rescue unit and helicopter went to the scene.



WHALE

Members of the public who had seen the fall were able to point out the location of the body to the patrol boat crew.

The helicopter searched the cliff which was covered in heavy vegetation.

A winch man was lowered from the helicopter and he confirmed the man was dead. The body was taken to Tallaght Hospital.

"There has been a big increase in people using the cliff paths following the recent whale sightings in the area. We appeal to people to stay on the paths and to stay away from the edges of the cliffs. Strong gusts of winds at the edge can cause people to lose their balance," said a Coast Guard spokesman.

There have been warnings about safety in the area in recent years following fatalities and falls in recent years.

In June 2009, a fisherman plunged 50ft to his death after losing his footing on a cliff path in Howth. The middle-aged man fell at Devil's Rock on the Balscadden cliffs. He had been walking towards a popular fishing spot on Howth Head when he lost his footing.

In January last year, a 16-year-old boy was airlifted to hospital after plunging down a cliff at Howth.

In August 2006, a teenage boy suffered head, hand and ankle injuries after he fell down a cliff at Howth and was then struck by stones he dislodged.

A month earlier, a 13-year old boy fell 20ft down a cliff at Howth while casting a fishing rod.

aokeeffe@herald.ie


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