Man shouted ‘Goodbye brother, I love you’

Ennis

A Clare man shouted “goodbye brother, I love you” after watching him disappear into the water in Poulnasherry Bay off the Clare coast in April.

An inquest in Ennis heard yesterday that Alan Mahoney called out after watching his brother, Bernard, 39, from Moveen, Kilkee, go under the water after a desperate attempt to try to make it to shore to raise help for three men stranded on two tractors.

Father of three Bernard, had been due to attend the christening of his youngest son later that day, April 19.

He and three others were laying oyster bags in the early hours but their two tractors plunged into a deep channel after 1.30am.

Polish national Marcin Butlewski told the inquest he could hear Bernard screaming: “I will jump into the water and swim to the shore and get us help.”

Mr Butlewski had earlier swam the short distance from Bernard’s tractor to the one being driven by Alan and a fourth man, John Ryan on higher ground.

Mr Butlewski said: “I screamed back: ‘Don’t swim, it is extremely dangerous, you won’t make it.’ Alan screamed the same. We all started screaming: ‘Don’t! Don’t! Don’t!’

“However, Bernard did jump and within 10 seconds he was gone.”

In his deposition, Mr Mahoney said: “Bernard said we would take off our waders and swim in. The water was about five foot high at this stage. I told him I couldn’t swim. Bernard took off his waders and tried to swim. He went up and down in the water five times. That was the last I saw of him.”

In response to county coroner Isobel O’Dea, Mr Butlewski said the men were not wearing life jackets and did not have flares.

Stephen Little said and his brother Roger heard shouting from the bay and decided to launch his boat. They performed a rescue at 3.04am.

Ms O’Dea returned a verdict of accidental death.


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