Caitriona Lucas recovers a dog from a cliff ledge at Rehy West, Co Clare. Photograph: Pat Flynn

A CORONER’S inquest hearing has been confirmed into the death of Irish Coastguard volunteer and mother of two Caitriona Lucas (41) – more than six years after her death.

The confirmation by the Limerick Coroner’s Office of the inquest to take place at Kilmallock Courthouse in Co Limerick on April 12th next brings to an end a six and a half year wait by the Lucas family for the inquest into the death of Ms Lucas, who lost her life during an Irish coastguard search operation at Kilkee in West Clare on September 12th 2016.

Husband of Ms Lucas, Bernard Lucas on Friday welcomed the confirmation of the inquest and commented “it’s about time”.

He said, “I welcome it because by the time the inquest is held in April it will be six years and seven months. It’s about time. I don’t know why there was a delay this long. We welcome that a date has been finally set for it”.

A native of Ballyvaughan in north Clare, librarian, Ms Lucas – whose children, Ben and Emma, were aged 20 and 18 at the time of her death -was the first Irish Coast Guard volunteer to lose their life during active service.

Ms Lucas’s death also prompted two separate State Investigations.

An Advanced Coxswain with the Doolin Unit of the Irish Coast Guard, Ms Lucas was helping the neighbouring Coast Guard unit from Kilkee in the search for a missing man on Sept 12th 2016, but Ms Lucas died when the Kilkee rigid inflatable boat (RIB ) which she was assisting with in the search capsized in a shallow cove.

The two Kilkee crew with her were rescued, but Ms Lucas, who sustained a head injury, died in hospital. All three crew had lost their helmets, and the boat’s radio was not working. Ms Lucas hadn’t expected to go to sea, but the unit was short a crew member.

As Ms Lucas was pronounced dead in hospital in Limerick, responsibility for her inquest is with the Limerick coroner’s office. Ms Lucas had been a member of the Doolin unit of the Irish Coastguard since 2006.

The Marine Casualty Investigation Board (MCIB) report into Ms Lucas’s death concluded that the Irish Coast Guard (ICG) did not have an effective safety management system. The ICG contested the MCIB’s draft findings in a detailed response, published in the appendix of the board’s final report.

In 2020, the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) decided that no criminal charges should be brought in relation to the tragedy after a report was forwarded to it by the Health and Safety Authority (HSA).

Mr Lucas has stated previously he was “very disappointed” the published MCIB report had failed to address questions over equipment his wife was wearing.

Shortly after her death in a loving tribute, Bernard described Caitriona as “caring, gentle, kind, wanted to help others, always had a warm smile and was 100% dedicated to everything she did. She was an animal lover. She filled the farm with cats, dogs and goats. She was extremely hardworking and very modest. She was very brave and courageous and she loved the coast guard.

He added, “She always had the best outlook and advice on life. The love she had for life, her family, travel and helping others was immense. No problem or challenge was too big for her to overcome and she always knew what to say to other people to comfort them.”

Related News

cranny cross
TII moving 'phenomenally slow' to make Cranny Cross safer
CE5084D3-5775-4CAD-A968-58EAD56F032B
Scariff Bay answers London’s Call in broadcasting first for station
gum litter 1 (1)
More men than women not disposing of their gum correctly
le24 election mary howard 2
The Electoral Chair: Ennis Municipal District the final outcome analysed
Latest News
3D printing 2 (1)
Zimmer Biomet: 3D Printing Healthcare Transformation in Oranmore
le24 election mary howard 2
The Electoral Chair: Ennis Municipal District the final outcome analysed
Homestead website-01
Robbie McCauley's make at home recipe: Baked fish in tinfoil
Website Oxygeneration-01
Jennifer Flaherty: Healing pressure sores with hyperbaric oxygenation
Website Smaranda-01
Smaranda Maier Wellness: Understanding the effects of stress
Premium
donie garrihy pat sweeney 1 (1)
'We're living in a death trap' - Doolin residents warn of further fatalities
avenue utd vs newmarket celtic 25-05-24 darragh leahy nnabuike nneji 1
50 game ban for Newmarket Celtic’s Leahy
le24 election alan o'callaghan 1
O’Callaghan to become next Mayor of Clare as roles agreed for next term
shannon development building 2
75 Ukrainians to be relocated from Shannon to Lisdoonvarna
pj ryan 1
'It was an emotional time and it still is' - PJ Ryan devastated to lose Council seat

Subscribe for just €3 per month

If you’re here, you care about County Clare. So do we. Did you rely on us for Covid-19 updates, follow our election coverage, or visit The Clare Echo every week for breaking news and sport? The Clare Echo invests in local journalism and we want to safeguard its future in our county. By becoming a subscriber you are supporting what we do, will receive access to all our premium articles and a better experience, while helping us improve our offering to you. Subscribe to clareecho.ie and get the first six months for just €3 a month (less than 75c per week), and thereafter €8 per month. Cancel anytime, limited time offer. T&Cs Apply. www.clareecho.ie.

Subscribe for just €3 per month

If you’re here, you care about County Clare. So do we. Did you rely on us for Covid-19 updates, follow our election coverage, or visit The Clare Echo every week for breaking news and sport? The Clare Echo invests in local journalism and we want to safeguard its future in our county. By becoming a subscriber you are supporting what we do, will receive access to all our premium articles and a better experience, while helping us improve our offering to you. Subscribe to clareecho.ie and get the first six months for just €3 a month (less than 75c per week), and thereafter €8 per month. Cancel anytime, limited time offer. T&Cs Apply. www.clareecho.ie.

Scroll to Top