THE two sisters who tragically died together at a Clare beach had planned to move back to Ireland, a family friend has revealed.
The bodies of Pamela and Denise Moore were found fully clothed on a beach at Miltown Malby last Friday.
The women, who were originally from Birmingham, England, had previously lived in Ireland for 15 years.
Gardai say it may not be possible to piece together all the circumstances surrounding their deaths.
While the results of the postmortem examinations have not been disclosed by gardai, it is understood that the cause of death was drowning. Foul play has been ruled out.
The pair moved to the north-Cork town of Fermoy with their father in 1979 and opened a boutique called Dominos, which they ran for almost 15 years.
The sisters, who were in their early 50s, had shared a flat above the store for years before buying a house outside the town.
While the pair moved to north Wales in 1994, family friend of 30 years Pat Bowes revealed they had planned to return to Ireland permanently.
Sadly, the sisters' bodies were discovered lying on rocks at the edge of the beach, about 10 feet apart, at Whitestrand.
Their car, a green Citroen Xsara, was found close to where the bodies lay and their dog was discovered in the vehicle.
Mr Bowes, from Fermoy in Co Cork, said: "They were like my family. I had a telephone conversation with them just last Tuesday and they were in great form. I believe this was a tragic accident and nothing more."
Mr Bowes said the sisters lived for their dogs.
"What they liked to do most in the world was go for a walk along the beach with the dogs, after they would put them in the boot of their hatchback with a bowl of water, while they sat down on a rock at the water's edge and enjoyed a quiet cigarette and a chat," he said. "These were lovely, quiet, good people. They loved Ireland and I am so sad that they had only been back a few months when this happened. They were considering settling here."
Superintendent Colm O'Sullivan of Ennistymon said: "There was no foul play and we are treating the deaths as a tragic accident. We now have to establish how this happened."
He said gardai were examining a number of theories, including the possibility that one of the women may have fallen or was struck by a freak wave while walking the beach or standing on the slipway and that her sister went to her aid.
Investigators are also believed to be looking at the possibility that one of the women may have collapsed and that the other tried to help her.
It is understood that medication belonging to one of the victims was discovered in the vehicle.