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Crash victim 'a true gentleman'

Published 10/02/2011

Brendan McAleese, 39, was killed in the Cork air crash on Thursday
Brendan McAleese, 39, was killed in the Cork air crash on Thursday
Emergency services attend the scene at Cork Airport (AP/Alan O'Brien)
Michael Evans, Deputy Harbour Master in Belfast, died when the plane he was travelling in crashed at Cork Airport

A relative of the Irish President killed in the Cork air crash was a "true gentleman", his family said.

Brendan McAleese, 39, a businessman in Co Tyrone, died in the accident at the city's airport on Thursday morning. He was a cousin of President Mary McAleese's husband, Martin.

Six people died and six more suffered injuries after's flight from Belfast crashed in thick fog.

A McAleese family statement said: "The impact of yesterday's tragedy has yet to sink in. Brendan was such a special character, a doting father, loving husband, son and brother, and a true gentleman to all who knew him."

Another of those killed in Thursday's crash was Pat Cullinan, originally from Omagh, Co Tyrone, and a partner in leading accountancy firm KPMG in Belfast.

Among the victims was Captain Michael Evans, Deputy Harbour Master in Belfast. Another British citizen, Richard Noble, originally from Derbyshire but living in Northern Ireland, also died. Jordi Gola Lopez from Spain and English co-pilot Andrew Cantle also died.

Mr Cantle, 27, spent eight years volunteering on a lifeboat with Sunderland RNLI and helped rescue 66 people during his time at the station, before moving to York to take up his career as an airline pilot. He had only been with Manx2 for a few months.

The 18-seater turboprop crashed in thick fog on its third attempt to land.

Grief-stricken relatives of those killed are expected to begin bringing their bodies home.

Aviation experts from Dublin and the UK are to join forces to examine the crash site, wreckage and the final minutes of the Manx2 flight from Belfast. Spanish authorities are also expected to be involved.

Press Association

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