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Visitor Killed in Cliff Fall

Sep 4, 1970 | Archive

A young Englishman was killed when he fell down a 150 foot cliff face near the Gap of Dunloe yesterday evening. Rescuers today brought the body down from the mountain. He was 19-year-old Peter John Hill of Stockport, Cheshire, and had been employed for the summer holidays as a barman at the Hotel Europa, Killarney. The accident occurred when he went for a stroll with two friends who had just arrived from England, and they decided to walk along the ridge on the western side of the Gap of Dunloe.

When attempting to descend the 900 foot mountain the party encountered a steep cliff. The two visitors turned back and on reaching the top of the mountain, found Mr. Hill to be missing. They spent an hour searching along the mountain and calling him. Eventually they had to make their way down the mountain to Kate Kearney’s Cottage where they raised the alarn. The Kerry Mountain Rescue Team, aided by Gardaí and locals, mounted a massive search at 11pm last night. They combed the mountainside inch by inch and found Mr. Hill’s body shortly after midnight at the base of the cliff.

Because of the weather conditions and the inaccessibility of the area where the body lay, they had to leave it there overnight. A party returned to the spot at 6am this morning and brought the body back down the mountain. Mr. Hill’s body was taken to the mortuary of Killarney District Hospital where an inquest will be held later.

A Garda officer, describing the scene of the tragedy, said the mountain was not a big one by any standards and he did not know of any other accidents at the cliff. “The place where the body was found is very inaccessible” he said. “It’s cut off from the road by Cushbally Lake. It’s a very awkward spot to search with the mist coming on the mountain at night.” Mr. Hill’s two companions are thought to have travelled back to England today.