No charges over sea death of girl scout

Aoife Winterlich

No criminal charges will be brought in relation to the tragic death of a 14-year-old girl scout from Dublin.

Aoife Winterlich from Walkinstown, Dublin 12, died after she was swept into the sea off Hook Head, Co Wexford, on a weekend scouting trip. The teen was rescued from the sea by the Irish Coast Guard but later died on December 11, 2015, at Our Lady’s Children’s Hospital in Crumlin.

Gardaí in New Ross investigated all aspects of the incident, examining photos, maps, emergency rescue reports, and CCTV footage in their preparation of a file for the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP). The file was submitted to the DPP last August. Supt John McDonald of New Ross Garda Station informed Dublin Coroner’s Court that no prosecution was directed.

The full details of how the teenager’s death occurred will be heard at Dublin Coroner’s Court next year.

Aoife Winterlich was a member of the 55th South Circular Road scout group in Dublin. She was on a weekend scouting trip when the incident occurred at around 2pm on Sunday, December 6, 2015.

Four people were swept into the sea during a heavy swell in the aftermath of Storm Desmond.

Two of the four made it back to shore, while two were winched to safety by the Waterford-based Irish Coast Guard helicopter.

Aoife Winterlich fell into the sea as rescuers attempted to bring her on board the helicopter.

She was immediately recovered from the sea and both teenagers were flown to hospital, arriving within 17 minutes of the initial call out.

An inquest into the death of Ms Winterlich opened at Dublin Coroner’s Court earlier this year. Her mother, Ann Winterlich, attended a brief hearing into her daughter’s death where the inquest was opened and adjourned last June. Ann Winterlich gave evidence of the formal identification of her daughter at Our Lady’s Children’s Hospital.

The coroner adjourned the inquest for full hearing next March.


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