Gardaí are investigating the tragic death of Bantry man, Malcolm Rowley, who died on Sunday morning after his parachute failed to open during a base jump at the Cliffs of Moher.
By Jackie Keogh
GARDAÍ are investigating the tragic death of Bantry man, Malcolm Rowley, who died on Sunday morning after his parachute failed to open during a base jump at the Cliffs of Moher.
A wake for the 45-year old, who was born in England but has lived in West Cork for most of his life, will be held between 4pm and 8pm on Friday at Malcolm’s home at Glenbannoo Upper in the Mealagh Valley, followed on Saturday, April 29th, by a short service at 2pm at The Island Crematorium at Ringaskiddy.
In the meantime, Malcolm’s brother, Jefferson Rowley, has created an online group, ‘Hasta la vista Mal’, to ‘share memories and heal the pain’ that is being felt by all those who knew the adventurous man.
By day, he was a construction worker and a maker of bespoke greenhouses, but his passion was as an extreme sports enthusiast.
Malcolm was one of a group of three who had travelled to the Cliffs of Moher before 7am on Sunday, April 23rd, to attempt the 700ft jump.
One of the men successfully completed the jump, but Malcolm’s attempt failed because his parachute did not open.
Shortly after the alarm was raised, members of the Irish Coast Guard, the Irish Ambulance Service and the gardaí arrived at the base of the cliff, but Malcolm, who was airlifted to Galway University Hospital, was pronounced dead at the scene.
Friends of Malcolm’s have paid tribute to a man who was a loving father to his son, Lee; a loving brother to Jefferson; and a loving partner to Clarissa.
In an online tribute, Christy Collard of Future Forests, described Malcolm as ‘the most incredible human being.’
As a kid, Christy said: ‘You and Jeff were older brother figures for me … from bog fights in the summer sun to shooting an air rifle, stunt ramps with a BMX, to silently fishing the mountain River Trout.’
Another friend, Corinna Magee, concurred, saying: ‘You never have friends like the ones you have in your teens … I have so many good (and some plain crazy) memories of time spent together.
‘An old friend, a good friend, and an honourable man who will be fondly remembered by so many. Rest in peace, Malcolm. You are free as a bird now … come to think of it, you always were.’
Ian Kingston of the West Cork Kickboxing Club, of which Malcolm was a senior black belt member, said: ‘Malcolm was one of those guys… everyone loved him.
‘We were devastated on Saturday morning when we found out. I couldn’t speak highly enough about him. He was a true martial artist. He trained hard, worked hard, and always had a smile on his face.’