Coroner rules “accidental death” for Trinity student who fell from cliff

A witness saw Anand Goel “taking selfies” shortly before his death

A coroner’s inquest has returned a verdict of accidental death in the case of Trinity student Anand Goel, who fell from the cliffs of Moher on January 4.

The verdict was reached by Clare County Coroner, Isobel O’Dea, who said: “It is quite clear that Mr Goel was taking selfies in what proved to be a very dangerous place.”

She added: “There has been no evidence that there was any intention by him to do self harm and very much the evidence of all of the witnesses was that Mr Goel was taking selfies in the sunshine before he fell.”

Anand Goel was 26 years old and an Indian national. He moved from Delhi in September 2018 to study marketing and design at Trinity.

Nadine Stoeckl, a German tourist, gave evidence in a deposition that she had seen Goel “was taking selfies, lots of them” in the time immediately before his death.

Stoeckl further said that she saw the moment Goel fell, stating “myself and my boyfriend were chatting and then I looked around and I saw that the man who had been taking the selfies falling”.

Stoeckl’s boyfriend, Leo Voehringer, who was also present on the cliffs told a deposition that they were 15 metres away from Goel.

He said: “I told my girlfriend not to look at him anymore – we kept turning around to watch him.”

Stoeckl said that they had been “discussing how dangerous it was where he was sitting”.

Another tourist, Madeleine John, from Australia, was reported to be around 200 to 300 metres from Goel when he fell and told the inquest: “I saw a man falling and I heard him screaming about one to two seconds later, I heard a large cracking sound.”

She stated: “I stood there for a couple of minutes in disbelief trying to figure out if it was real.”

Goel’s remains were recovered by an Irish Coastguard helicopter, which was diverted from a nearby training mission.

Goel fell around 600 feet and a postmortem concluded that he had died from severe skull damage consistent with a fall from a height.

O’Dea said that Goel’s family, who were not present at the inquest, will be notified of the findings.

Finn Purdy

Finn Purdy is the current Deputy Editor of Trinity News. He is a Junior Sophister English Studies student, and a former News Editor and Assistant News Editor.