light rain
humidity: 53%
wind: 4m/s S
H 9 • L 5
Weather from OpenWeatherMap


Young girl watched on in horror as family drowned off Cork coast, inquest told

Three people drowned when a wave swept them out to sea last summer (Photo: Twitter)

THE son of Primark founder Arthur Ryan drowned as his daughter watched on in horror, a Coroner’s court was told.

Barry Ryan Snr dived into the sea off Baltimore in west Cork last summer in a bid to rescue his son Barry Davis Ryan, 20, and his son’s girlfriend Niamh O’Connor, 20, when a freak wave swept them off a rock.

On June 30, 2015 the group had gone fishing on rocks at around 6pm.

More News:

Charlotte Davis Ryan, 13, said in a statement that at first her brother Barry began fishing off a rock, while the other three sat nearby.

His girlfriend Ms O’Connor then joined him, but they were hit by a wave and the pair were swept out to sea.

Clonakilty court heard that Barry Ryan Snr told Charlotte to climb up the rocks as he attempted to rescue his son and Ms O’Connor.

Charlotte said that she saw both her dad and Ms O’Connor struggling in the water, but had lost sight of her brother and began to panic.

When she attempted to reach safety she encountered three Welsh tourists who raised the alarm.

The tourists said that Charlotte was in shock as she explained that she had seen her family drown.

The Irish Independent reported that she said : “I know they are dead – I saw their heads go down. My family have drowned. I know they have.”

The court recorded a verdict of accidental death in regards to Barry Ryan Snr, his son Barry Davis Ryan and Ms O’Connor.

Coronor Frank O’Connell described Barry Ryan Snr’s attempts to rescue his son and his son’s girlfriend as extremely brave.

“His actions are a testimony to his quality as a man,” he said.

Kieran Cotter, Coxswain of the Baltimore Lifeboat, told how the bodies of Barry Ryan Snr and Ms O’Connor were recovered quickly, and how divers discovered the body of Barry Davis Ryan ten days later.


Irish Post

The Irish Post is the biggest-selling weekly newspaper for the Irish in Britain and the voice of the Irish community since 1970. Follow the Irish Post on Twitter @theirishpost

Welcome to Irish post

Please share your email address to view the article

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

About us

The Irish Post is the biggest selling national newspaper to the Irish in Britain. delivers all the latest Irish news to our online audience around the globe.

Contact Editorial

Tel: +44 (0)20 8900 4193


Tel: +44 (0)20 8900 4137


Irish Post