Tragedy | 

Family of American couple killed when pony and trap plunged into ravine sue driver and Kerry council

Rosalyn Joy Few (64), and her partner Normand Larose (62) died after their pony and trap plunged down a steep rocky ravine

Normand Larose and Rosalyn Joy Few

The Gap of Dunloe, Co Kerry


Six High Court actions have been launched by the family of an American couple who died after their pony and trap plunged down a steep rocky ravine in the Gap of Dunloe beauty spot in Co Kerry.

The families of Rosalyn Joy Few, (64), and her partner Normand Larose, (62) have sued Kerry County Council and the pony-and-trap driver over the accident in Killarney five years ago.

The cases, which are being handled by Adrian Hegarty of Malone Hegarty solicitors Killarney, are listed to commence in the High Court in the first week in July. It is likely they will all be heard together.

When the cases were called before Mr Justice Paul Coffey last month the judge fixed a date in the first week of July for the hearing of the actions.

All the claims made in each case are denied.

The Gap of Dunloe, Co Kerry

The family members are suing the council and pony man Dan Casey of Beaufort, Killarney, who was the trap driver, as a result of the accident on April 9, 2018.

Ms Few and Mr Larose, of Phoenix, Arizona, who were on the second day of their dream holiday to Ireland, were in the first pony and trap with members of their family travelling in two other traps behind, when the accident happened on the narrow mountain pass towards Kate Kearney’s Cottage.

Ms Few’s family have filed five of the actions. Ms Few’s daughter Tonya Tier of West Richmond, Washington, has sued on behalf of her family over the death of her mother and also sued for nervous shock. Ms Tier’s husband Bill Walther and children Gavin and Kaitlyn have sued for nervous shock.

Mr Larose’s brother, Yvan Larose from Magog, Quebec, Canada, has brought a separate action on behalf of the Larose family who live in Canada over the death of Mr Larose in the accident.

In all of the actions it is claimed the pony and trap was allegedly caused to lose control on an alleged particularly treacherous stretch of roadway and tumble into a deep ravine.

It is further claimed there was a failure to have any policies, procedures, protocols or other methods in place to ensure the safety of visitors to the Gap of Dunloe.

It is also claimed there was a failure to ensure that the traps in which passengers were travelling were fitted with adequate braking systems or other security measures such as would ensure the safety of passengers.

There was also an alleged failure to erect any barriers, warning signs or other measures to ensure the safety of visitors approaching that particular section of the roadway.

Ms Tier and members of the family who were at the Gap of Dunloe have further claimed they came upon a scene of utter horror where the pony and trap carrying Ms Few and Mr Larose had tumbled down the ravine and was lying on the rocks below.

They each claim they suffered a severe and significant shock as a result of the extremely devastating event.

Mr Walther claims his trauma has been compounded by the fact that in a sense he became a first responder and climbed down to help free his mother-in-law and her partner.

Kaitlyn Walther, who is now 20, was in the trap behind her grandparents along with her brother Gavin at the time of the accident has further claimed she attempted to shield her brother from the accident. Gavin is now 14.

All the claims are denied.

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