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Cork man rang wife to say she would not see him again, inquest hears

A man rang his wife and told her he was having his last cigarette and that he'd had a great life before the car he was in went off the Old Head of Kinsale in Cork.

An inquest into the death of Daniel O'Connell heard that guests having dinner at the Old Head Golf Club saw his car parked in an odd location and that they alerted staff.

Mr O'Connell, of 23 St Christopher's Road in Montenotte in Cork, had contacted his wife, who was in Dublin that day, on August 24, 2017, to tell her he had had a great life and she would not see him again.

Eileen O'Connell said this was "out of the blue". When the call ended she rang 999.

Coroner Frank O'Connell heard that the deceased man, who was in his 60s, had experienced some health difficulties, including issues with his vision and his hearing.

Ms O'Connell said she guessed her husband's location from the sound of seagulls as he was speaking to her.

He used to swim all year round so I guessed where he would be.

Owen Collins, who was operating security at the Golf Club, said he went to speak with the driver after he was notified of the guests' concerns. He said he spoke with the man, who was in his car, to say they were concerned about his welfare.

Mr O'Connell responded that he was there for the view, before his car went over the cliff.

Mr O'Connell's body was retrieved at 3am the following day through the efforts of the Old Head Cliff Rescue Team and the RNLI lifeboat from Kinsale.

The coroner ruled the death was self-caused and that Mr O'Connell died as a result of multiple severe injuries and extended his sympathies to the deceased man's family.

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