US family in shock over death of tourists in Kerry
The family of a US tourist killed with his partner in a freak horse and cart accident at an Irish beauty spot have spoken of their deep shock.
Normand Larose (62) and Rosalyn Joy Few (64) were killed on Monday afternoon in an accident at the Gap of Dunloe in Co Kerry.
The couple had travelled to Ireland from their home in Phoenix, Arizona at Easter with Ms Few's daughter, son-in-law and two grandchildren.
They had been enjoying a family holiday and were staying in the Killarney area.
Niece Maude Larose said Normand, who was originally from Quebec in Canada, will be sorely missed.
She said: "My uncle was a very happy person who loved life very much.
"He always took care of the people he loved, the whole family is shocked by this tragedy.
"I know he would want us to remember him with his smile and his jokes."
A Garda investigation has been launched into the tragedy, with officers still attempting to establish the exact cause of the crash.
A source said early indications are that the horse became startled and bolted.
As a result, the couple were thrown from the cart and fell 20ft down steep terrain, suffering catastrophic injuries.
It is understood that family members - who were close behind on another pony and trap when the tragedy happened - travelled from their Killarney hotel to Dingle to identify the bodies of the couple.
Lord Mayor of Killarney, Niall Kelleher, said that they must let the investigation into the accident take its course, but lessons may have to be learned.
"When we get the findings of the investigation, if there's lessons to be learned then it is incumbent on us to act upon it," he said.
"Anything that is being said about it is just hearsay, so we have to wait for the investigation," he added.
Mr Kelleher opened a book of condolence in Killarney yesterday, with dozens of locals arriving to pay their respects.
He described the accident as "absolutely tragic".
None of the horse and carts were in operation at the Gap of Dunloe yesterday. However, many tourists followed the trail by foot.
The horse-drawn carts are a big tourist attraction at the Gap of Dunloe - the oldest route for such trips in Kerry.
The route is immensely popular, with one local saying that thousands may have taken it last week during the Easter break.
The bodies of the two victims were transferred by hearse to Kerry General Hospital on Monday evening.
The office of the Republic's state pathologist was notified and post-mortem examinations took place yesterday afternoon.