Presentations pay tribute to nuns lost in tragic drowning

Shock follows tragic incident

The Presentation Order has expressed its loss at the tragic deaths of Sisters Imelda Carew and Paula Buckley, who drowned on holiday in Co. Kerry this week.

When the two nuns, who were in their late 60s and early 70s, got in to difficulties during an evening swim at Inch Strand Beach near Tralee, the Valentia Coastguard rushed to the scene and pulled Sr Carew and Sr Buckley from the sea around 7pm. They were given CPR on the beach then airlifted to hospital where they were pronounced dead on Thursday night.

Congregational Leader of the Presentation Sisters Union, Sr Mary Deane, said: “We are all stunned and shocked by this tragedy. Words seem inadequate to express our loss and sorrow as we come to terms with the tragic events that unfolded on a beautiful sunny evening.

“It is a tragic loss for all of us and for their families. These two wonderful women have been a source of inspiration and blessing to many people throughout their lives. Our thoughts and prayers are with the families, communities and friends of our beloved Sisters at this time."

Reacting to the news TD Mattie McGrath said: "Sisters Carew and Buckley have been a source of inspiration and blessing to many people throughout their lives, in their ministries and communities which encompassed the Dioceses of Cashel and Emly, Ossory, Waterford and Lismore, Ferns and some of the Diocese of Dublin.”

A spokesperson for Kerry County Council, which employs lifeguards at the beach, said the accident occurred in a shallow section of the water and weather conditions were described as calm at the time.

A third sister who stood watching on the beach alerted the nearby lifeguard station when she could no longer see her companions.

Ar dheis Dé go raibh a h-anam.