|Kenmare Pier, Co.Kerry|
Just after 4 p.m. on December 1st 1950 a single figure was seen walking down the length of Kenmare Pier in Co.Kerry, southern Ireland. It was already getting quite dark and the squally showers that had been swirling along the west coast of Ireland for most of the day whipped up the surface of the water of Kenmare river – an extension of the Kenmare estuary leading out to the Atlantic – into ribbons of rain lashed furrows that relentlessly beat against the stonework of the pier. The pier, unlike the grand Victorian and Edwardian edifices that grace the British coastline, was a simple affair of less than 70 yards and was used primarily to moor a single fishing boat against on either flank. A short row of cottages faced the pier on its landward end and from one of these an observer watched, curious to see who it was that was venturing out onto the pier at this time of day and in such weather.
At the inquest later this same observer was to say that the figure suddenly dropped into the water but it is unclear wether he meant that the figure jumped or just toppled in. Rushing out onto the pier he watched as the figure swirled and disappeared beneath the water but such was the current at this point that it was brought around close to the steps that ran down the eastern side of the pier and with the aid of a hook it was brought to land and laid out on the pier. It was only then that the cottage dweller recognised the figure he had pulled out of the water. Jack Moeran, well-known in the town of Kenmare and a not infrequent visitor to the Lansdowne Hotel bar – and many other bars that dotted the triangle of main streets. It is not known if the rescuer was fully aware of the history of Jack Moeran but he was quite sure that the figure lying in front of him on the windswept pier was dead. Quite dead.