Buried Alive 46 Years Ago

Broadcast 46 years ago today, 23 January, 'Newsbeat' gets up close to Tim Hayes, the man who was buried alive for over 100 hours.

Some controversy surrounds who holds the record for being buried alive the longest. Many attempts and claims have been made over the years and none more determined than those of Cobh man, Tim Hayes.

'Newsbeat' reports here that Tim Hayes has beaten the world record of 100 hours buried alive.

The 'Underground Endurance Test' began on Christmas Day 1966 and onlookers in Ballymore, Co. Cork turned out to watch the spectacle and applaud the achievement. He stayed down, linked by telephone and alarm system in a coffin that allowed him room to manouvre. He read by torch a couple of books like 'The Beautiful Coffin' and 'Dracula'.

Bill O'Herlihy talks to Mr. Hayes by telephone as a crowd gathers at the graveside. Hayes describes his happiness at being in the grave stating "I'm that happy that if they put a corpse in down beside me, it wouldn't worry me".

Bill O'Herlihy also talks to Tim's mother, Mrs. Marguerite Hayes, about the ordeal of having her son buried alive and she states "I have died a hundred deaths since Timothy went down".

When Tim finally emerged from the grave he was met by applause from thousands of onlookers. In 1968, another Irishman but based in London, Mike Meaney spent 61 days in a coffin buried beneath the ground.

Tim Hayes died in 2005.

This episode of 'Newsbeat' was first broadcast on 23 January, 1967.

'Newsbeat' was a half-hour feature programme presented by Frank Hall and ran for 7 years from September 1964 to June 1971. 'Newsbeat' went out from Monday to Friday on RTE television and reported on current affairs and issues of local interest from around Ireland. The final programme was broadcast on the 11 June, 1971.

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