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Saturday 1 October 2016

Charges may be brought over sea death of girl scout Aoife

Aoife Winterlich died after being swept into the sea
Aoife Winterlich died after being swept into the sea

Criminal charges may be brought in relation to the death of a 14-year-old Dublin girl scout who died after being plucked from the sea by the Irish Coast Guard in a tragedy last winter.

Aoife Winterlich, from Walk- instown, Dublin 12, died last December 11 at Our Lady's Children's Hospital in Crumlin.

The teenager was initially rescued after she was swept into the sea off Hook Head, Co Wexford, during a weekend scouting adventure.

She was a member of the 55th South Circular Road scout group in Dublin.

Aoife's mother, Ann Winterlich, attended a brief hearing into her daughter's death when an inquest was opened and adjourned at Dublin Coroner's Court.

Mrs Winterlich gave evidence of the formal identification of her daughter at Our Lady's Children's Hospital.

The cause of death was reserved to a later date.

The garda investigation into the teenager's death is continuing.

It is believed that a file will be submitted to the Director of Public Prosecution in due course, the court heard.

The incident happened at around 2pm last December 6 when four young people were swept into the sea during a heavy swell in the aftermath of Storm Desmond.

Winched

Two of the four made it back to shore, while two were winched to safety by the Coast Guard's Waterford-based helicopter.

Aoife fell into the sea as rescuers tried to bring her aboard the helicopter.

She was immediately recovered and both teenagers were flown to hospital, arriving within 17 minutes of the initial call-out.

The inquest was adjourned until September 2.

Aoife was remembered at her funeral as "the 14-year-old we all wanted to be but didn't have the guts".

Pupils from St Paul's Secondary School, where Aoife was a third-year student, and members of Scouting Ire- land formed two guards of hon- our at the door of the church as her white coffin was car- ried in to the song Hello by Adele.

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