TWO tourists who died in yesterday's tragic horse-and-cart accident near the Gap of Dunloe have been named as an American couple in their 60s.
Rosalyn Joy Few, 64, and her partner Normand Larose, 62, were visiting Co. Kerry from their native Phoenix, Arizona when their horse bolted and threw them into a ravine shortly after 2pm.
The couple were part of a group of six sightseers, which also included Ms Few's daughter, her son-in-law and her two grandchildren.
They had travelled to Ireland at Easter for a family holiday and were staying nearby in the Killarney area.
Ms Few’s daughter, son-in-law and grandchildren were travelling in a separate cart and came across the scene moments after the accident.
Both Ms Few and Mr Larose were pronounced dead at the scene, some 12 feet or more below the road.
The driver of their traditional 'jarvey' pony-and-trap escaped without injury but was treated for shock at the scene and is said to be "very distressed".
The horse that was pulling the cart also died in the incident.
The bodies of Ms Few and Mr Larose were transferred by hearse to Kerry General Hospital shortly before 6pm yesterday evening.
The Office of the State Pathologist has been notified and post-mortem examinations were due to be carried out today.
Gardaí have also launched an investigation into the cause of the tragedy.
Officers were last night working to inform the victims’ next of kin outside Ireland of their deaths and were liaising with the US Embassy in Dublin.
Ms Few, who went by her middle name Joy, worked as an administrative assistant and data coordinator for the Mayo Clinic in her native Phoenix.
Information regarding Mr Larose's background is yet to emerge.
In a statement, Killarney Chamber of Tourism and Commerce president Paul O'Neill expressed his condolensces with the family of the deceased.
“We are all shocked and saddened by this most tragic accident,” he said.
“The Gap of Dunloe is one Ireland’s most popular tourist destinations, a place that brings joy to tourists the world over and we are devastated that a visit to it by this couple would end in such tragic circumstances.
“The people of Killarney extend our heartfelt sympathies to all affected by this tragedy and will do whatever we can to support the family during this very sad time.”
Mayor of Killarney Cllr Niall Kelleher also expressed his sympathies with the family.
“The tragic accident has caused great shock and upset throughout the entire community,” he said.
“The Gap of Dunloe is one of the most naturally beautiful places in the entire country but there is a dark cloud overhead this evening as everyone comes to terms with what happened.”