Over the last 23 years, around eight or nine bodies have never been recovered from the seas around the Cliffs of Moher, a garda told an inquest.
At the coroner’s court in Ennis, Garda Andrew Monahan said that in his time serving in the north Clare area over the past 23 years, there have been eight or nine cases where searches have been unsuccessful and the remains of the people have not been recovered.
Garda Monahan was speaking at the inquest into the death of German national, Max Tienert, aged 31, who is believed to have entered the waters at the Cliffs of Moher more than four years ago on Sunday, April 5, 2015.
Garda Monahan said he came across some of Mr Tienert’s belongings at a location south of O’Brien’s Tower at the Cliffs of Moher on April 6, 2015. Mr Tienert’s body has never been recovered.
County coroner Isobel O’Dea said she required permission from the Attorney General’s office to stage the inquest as there was no body recovered. She said gardaí are satisfied there has been no activity on Mr Tienert’s bank account since his disappearance.
She said she could now formally pronounce that Mr Tienert of Lakeside Holiday Village, Mountshannon, Co Clare has passed away and that his date of death is April 5, 2015.
A Jehovah Witness, Mr Tienert was a married man and was working as a tree surgeon in east Clare at the time of his disappearance.
Ms O’Dea told Mr Tienert’s wife, Reika: “It is very difficult when you don’t have a body to mourn.”
Solicitor for Reika Tienert, Michael O’Brien, told the inquest: “Max Tienert was a very fine young man. He was very talented, I wouldn’t describe him as a carpenter, he was more than that and made some fabulous pieces and made a boat at some stage.” Mr O’Brien thanked the Doolin unit of the coastguard for their efforts in trying to locate Mr Tienert’s remains.
“The area is a beautiful area but is a very tragic area from what occurs there so it is kind of a bittersweet kind of a place,” Mr O’Brien added.
To date this year, the Doolin Unit of the Irish Coastguard has recovered the bodies of three people in waters off the Cliffs of Moher — two females and a male — with the remains of a fourth person, a woman, still not located.