Thursday 18 October 2018

Unidentified man had been seen walking beach the night before his body was found

The inquest into the death of the "unknown man" whose body was found at Rosses Point beach early on the morning of June 16th last heard how the person who first saw the body thought it was a mannequin from a shop display, lying face down in the sand.

The inquest also heard from another man who met the deceased the evening before at Rosses Point wearing clothes that matched those found on the beach the next morning about 300 metres from his body.

Opening the inquest at Sligo Courthouse into the man's death, Sergeant Philip Maree explained that it concerned an unidentified body found on the first beach at Rosses Point on June 16th 2009. He said the remains were not identified despite extensive enquiries. Sergeant Maree said approximately 70 statements were taken for the case and it was proposed to take three statements for the inquest.

Arthur Kinsella, in a deposition read to the inquest, stated that on the morning of June 16th 2009 he left his house at Cartron Bay at about 6:30 a.m. to go to Rosses Point beach. He was with his son, Brian, who was training for a triathlon. It was a nice morning, just a little foggy. Brian was swimming on the beach and Arthur was keeping an eye on him. Arthur remembered that about 6:40 a.m. the tide was way out and he saw Brian running down the concrete slip toward the water. Brian didn't notice anything. Arthur came down onto the beach and picked up two golf balls. He wandered on a few yards to catch up with Brian.

Arthur glanced to his right and saw what he thought was a mannequin from a shop display face down in the sand. Arthur went over for a closer look and realised it was the body of a man. The body was lying face down in the sand, near rocks. It seemed to have one arm forward, which had all the appearance of a swimming stroke.

Arthur thought the man was wearing a black vest with short sleeves, black Speedo swimming trunks and a black and grey underpants underneath his swimming trunks. His feet were bare.

The man looked to be approximately 60 years of age, had short cropped hair and looked very trim and fit.

Arthur didn't notice any marks on the man and there were no footprints around the body. Arthur touched the man's ankle to establish he was dead.

Neither Arthur nor Brian had a phone and Arthur went to the Yeats County Hotel and contacted Sligo Garda Station.

Kevin Dufficy, Ballincar, Sligo, stated in a deposition that on Monday, June 15th, 2009, he was out at the beach in Rosses Point with his girlfriend at about 10:30 p.m. He met a man walking along the path, which leads to the first beach from the lower car park.

Dufficy described the man as being five foot 10 inches in height, slim build with short grey hair wearing ordinary dark rimmed glasses. He was wearing a black leather jacket, dark trousers and dark shoes. He was carrying a plastic bag, possibly white.

Dufficy stated that when he saw the man, he (Dufficy) was walking toward the beach and the man was walking away from the beach toward the car park. Dufficy thought he was possibly of German nationality.

Dufficy said "hello" and the man just nodded back. He was aged about 60 years and had good carriage. Dufficy went on ahead onto the beach and slowly walked the beach.

About 20 minutes later he saw this man coming back onto the first beach. He came down the same path to the beach. He just walked along by the edge of the sea. He was still dressed the same way. Dufficy remained on the beach for 10 minutes, more. It was approximately 11:20 p.m. when Dufficy left the beach and went for a walk along high ground in the vicinity of the lifeguards. He could still see this man on the beach. He appeared fully dressed when Dufficy left.

Sergeant Maree told the Inquest that the description by Dufficy would match reports by Detective Inspector John O'Reilly, who had charge of the investigation.

The inquest also heard that Dr. Valerie McGowan pronounced the man dead at 8:10 a.m. on June 16th 2009.

There were no obvious signs of foul play.