Cliffs of Moher deaths exhibit?
It was about 6am this morning when I stopped into a petrol station and saw the headline: Mother jumps to her death off Cliffs clutching 4-year-old son.
Most other papers are being more cautious with their reporting, making no mention of possible suicidal motivations. Aside from being a horrific tragedy, this bit of news really underscores how treacherous the cliffs are. How stupid are people (I include myself here)? That’s a REAALLLLY long drop from a sheer edge – stay the feck away from it for feck’s sake!
I feel like a real hypocrite here because, I’ll admit it, I’ve sat at the edge to experience the vertigo for myself. In fact, a lot of the people I’ve been to cliffs with did the same, probably out of peer pressure.
We were lucky. I have to say that we really didn’t think, nor were we explicitly warned about how dangerous what we were doing was. Sure, there was a sign saying “CAUTION” but there were loads of people wandering freely to the precipice edge. We really weren’t sure if people had ever died from a fall off the cliffs (though we suspected it was reasonable to assume some had). I mean, you’d think the voice in our head screaming “WHAT ARE YOU DOING? GET THE HELL AWAY FROM THE FREAKING CLIFF, YOU IDIOT!!” would be enough, but apparently not.
Folks, I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – don’t do it. The winds are just too damn strong and unpredictable and the ground too unstable. The voice in your head is right: your machismo could prove lethal.
The opening of the new visitor’s centre at the Cliffs of Moher is just over a week away. Perhaps this latest tragedy’s proximity to the big event will influence the powers that be to underline the treacherous nature of the cliffs along with their beauty when the centre opens next week.
How about an exhibit on the lives lost to the cliffs over the years? Good idea? Bad idea? Would you go see it? Would such a thing make it a destination for suicide jumpers? Whaddya think?