THROUGH THE ARCHIVES: Man drowns in fatal ice accident at Kilroot

From the News Letter, December 24, 1886

Kilroot in Co Antrim
Kilroot in Co Antrim

About half-past three o’clock yesterday afternoon a melancholy ice accident occurred at Kilroot, about two miles from Carrickfergus, reported the News Letter.

According to the details provided by a correspondent from Carrickfergus it was believed that two young men named William Bathhurst and William Taggart had been skating on the ice on a mill pond connected with what was formerly the Kilroot Bleachgreen when the accident occurred.

Sign up to our daily NorthernIrelandWorld Today newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Bathhurst, aged 21 years, was the son of the late Mr William Bathurst, coachbuilder, Belfast, meanwhile William Taggart was the son of the late Dr Taggart, of Carrickfergus.

Both were students under the care of the Reverend J H Bennett, rector of Templecurran and Kilroot, and boarded in his house.

When some distance from the bank the ice suddenly gave way and both were immersed. Some children observed the accident and raised the alarm, while a man named Dougal Percy, who was employed by the Rev Bennett, proceeded to the place with ropes across the ice in an attempt to rescue the two men.

He succeeded in rescuing Taggart, who was in an exhausted condition, but poor Bathurst had disappeared under the ice.

Head-Constable McDermott, of Carrickfergus, having been made aware of the accident proceeded to the pond with a number of men and a boat to retrieve the body of young Bathurst which was recovered from the water after several hours.

The News Letter correspondent noted: “The accident has cast quite a gloom over the neighbourhood.”