Families of American tourists to sue over Skellig deaths

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The families of the two American tourists who died following a fall on one of the worlds heritage sites, Skellig Michael off the Co. Kerry Coast, plan to sue the state.

Joseph Gaughan, 77, of Pennsylvania, died from head injuries after falling 30ft while descending the 200m-high Skellig Michael off the Co Kerry coast on May 3, 2009.

Four months later, Christine Spooner 57, of Rochester, New York, also died from head injuries after falling up to 40ft as she climbed the 600 steps to the UNESCO world heritage site on September 20.

Spooner was visiting with her husband Richard Spooner.

Spooner was from Rochester, New York, was flown by helicopter to Cork University Hospital but it was too late.

Gaughan, from Wikibar, Pennsylvania, died at the same spot.

His wife, Carolyn Gaughan has joined Christine Spooner in a joint action suit against the Office of Public Works in Ireland.

The site, due to slippery steps, has been known for accidents.
Since their deaths a safety chain has been erected at the site.