Swiss tourist killed in Storm Ali horror as clifftop caravan blown into Atlantic

A dream holiday to Ireland turned to tragedy for a tourist who died after her caravan was blown into the sea as Storm Ali battered the country.

The woman, named locally as Elvira Ferraii from Switzerland, had arrived in the Clifden area of Galway the day before the tragic incident.

She rented a caravan and was staying at the Clifden Eco Beach camping and caravan site in the Claddaghduff area, along the Atlantic coastline.

At around 7.45am yesterday the caravan was sent tumbling 15 metres into the water after being blown off a rocky ledge, before it was swept ashore.

Emergency services were alerted but Ms Ferraii, who was in her 50s, was pronounced dead at the scene.

Gardai believe the caravan was blown into the ocean by a gust of wind.

It is understood she was travelling on her own and locals said she had arrived in the coastal village on Tuesday.

Gardai said they were preparing a file for the local coroner, who has been notified of the incident.

Ms Ferraii's body was taken to University Hospital Galway where a post-mortem examination was due to be carried out.


One local told the Herald that she had rented a bicycle and the caravan the day before the tragedy.

The bicycle, steps and other items remained near the ledge where the caravan was sited before it was blown into the water.

The scene at Claddaghduff Co.Galway were a Woman in her 50's has died due to her caravan being blown from a cliff. It is understood she was alone in the caravan. Photo: Justin Farrelly.

The scene in Claddaghduff, near Clifden in Co Galway where a woman died after her caravan was blown off a cliff in Storm Ali which has brought gusts of 91mph. Photo: PA

"As President of Ireland, may I express my deepest condolences to her family.

"I would also take this opportunity to pay tribute to all those in statutory and voluntary organisations around the country, who are helping and stand ready to assist their fellow citizens, and who are working to maintain essential services around the country."

In Armagh, one man died and another was seriously injured after a tree fell at the entrance to Slieve Gullion Park.

Storm Ali brought down trees, damaged houses and caused transport paralysis as it swept across Ireland with gusts of up to 150kph.

Across the country hundreds of trees - many weakened by Storm Ophelia and Storm Emma - were toppled in the gusts, causing chaos for the electricity supply network.

Dozens of roads were blocked and power lines brought down from Kerry to Galway and Cork to Dublin.

At the peak, almost 190,000 people were without electricity as the ESB battled to deal with 750 line faults, many in remote areas.

ESB repair crews of more than 2,000 personnel were on standby but they had to wait for wind gusts to ease and it was safe to operate before they could reconnect supplies.

The ESB warned that it could be several days before all customers were fully reconnected.

Damage was also caused to mobile phone and telecommunications masts.


Eir, one of Ireland's biggest telecommunications providers, said more than 80 of its mast sites had lost electrical supply.

Other mobile phone operators said masts had been damaged by the high winds.

Several parks in Dublin were closed amid public safety fears posed by falling trees and flying debris. A number of the famous lime trees on Cork's Centre Park Road - planted to mark the opening of Henry Ford's factory more than a century ago - toppled yesterday, with Cork City Council closing the road amid safety concerns.

Last October, 35 trees were toppled along the historic road during the height of Storm Ophelia.

Property damage was minimal yesterday, though some homeowners had lucky escapes. One Offaly motorist suffered minor injuries when a tree fell in front of his car.

In Blarney, Co Cork, the felt roof was ripped off Sabrina Lehane's home and landed in the garden of another house.

In Galway, neighbours successfully used a JCB's hydraulic arm to help support a roof which was at risk of being ripped off a building at the height of the storm.

Across multiple counties, dozens of roads had to be closed by council and garda units owing to the risk of fallen trees.


The Cliffs of Moher Centre remained closed while the Foyle Bridge was also shut to traffic.

Other tourist attractions such as Skellig Michael and the Battle of the Boyne Centre were also closed amid storm fears.
Swiss tourist killed in Storm
If you notice an error, highlight the text you want and press Ctrl + Enter to report it to the editor
2 views in november
I recommend
No recommendations yet


Post your comment to communicate and discuss this article.

EU and UK negotiators have agreed a text that deals with the Irish border, RTÉ News understands. The text was agreed at around 9pm last night and then transmitted to Downing Street. While two well-placed sources have confirmed that the text was "as stable as it can be", they say it would not be correct to say that the negotiations have "concluded". According to both sources, there will be one backstop to avoid a hard border on the island of Ireland. The ba...
The Cabinet will meet this morning to consider developments around the draft text of a Brexit withdrawal agreement. Yesterday, Taoiseach Leo Varadkar put his colleagues on standby for this morning's meeting, which is due to be held at 9.30am. Mr Varadkar and the Tánaiste will update their Government colleagues on what has happened over the last 24 hours. It follows a meeting last night between Mr Varadkar, Tánaiste Simon Coveney, Minister for Finance Pasch...
A number of events have taken place around the country and in Northern Ireland to mark the centenary of the ending of World War I. Locations where ceremonies have taken place include Belfast, Enniskillen, Cork, Limerick, Sligo, Kilkenny, Westmeath, Galway and Tipperary. In Cork city, Lord Mayor of Cork Cllr Mick Finn laid a wreath at the Cenotaph on the Grand Parade. He was joined by relatives of those who died in WWI and members of the Cork branch of the...
The two men who were arrested in Athy, Co Kildare yesterday in the investigation into the murder of David Boland have been released without charge today. A file will be prepared for the Director of Public Prosecutions as the investigation continues, said a garda spokesperson. David Boland, 34, was stabbed multiple times during an incident on Duke Street in Athy, in the early hours of Thursday 1 November. A total of four people have been arrested to date as...
Dublin City Council is set to spend €1.6 million on the removal of discarded chewing gum in public areas. The local authority is seeking tenders for a contract to remove gum from footpaths and pedestrianised zones throughout litter blackspots in its administrative area over the next three years. It expects to spend €1.6 million plus VAT on these services, according to tender documents. The huge cost of removing chewing gum from public areas comes despite r...
It's not the first incident that has caused delays in Dublin this morning. An Irish Rail service heading into Dublin faced a huge delay this morning after hitting a sheep. The 7.05am service from Sligo to Dublin's Connolly Station was left delayed for 45 minutes due to the incident. Passengers have been warned to expect some knock-on delays as a result. Irish Rail said: "07:05hrs Sligo/Connolly will be delayed up to 45mins arriving in Connolly due to the s...
Precarious work is causing hardship to workers and their families, and reinforcing inequality, insecurity and deprivation in the workforce, according to the latest research from the Think tank for Action on Social Change. The report, entitled "Precarious Work, Precarious Lives", notes that precarious work forces many to rely on social protection from the taxpayer to compensate for their irregular hours and income. It found 44% of Irish workers do not have...
A new study which looked at the lives of nine-year-olds shows poorer outcomes for children from lower socio-economic backgrounds. The Growing Up in Ireland research, carried out by the Economic and Social Research Institute, shows an improvement in the families ability to make ends meet since 2013, but found that not all families benefitted from the economic up-turn. The research was carried out on group of nine-year-olds who spent many of their early year...
Ryanair and its CEO Michael O'Leary are being sued in New York by a shareholder accusing the airline of defrauding its investors, and inflating its share price by overstating its ability to manage its labour relations and keep costs down. Ryanair described the claims in the lawsuit as "false" and "doomed to fail" - and has pledged to defend itself fully against what it called "bogus ambulance-chaser" claims.  According to Reuters, it is not uncommon for sh...