Standing ovation for crash rescuers
Published 13/02/2011 | 19:12
Rescue crews who pulled survivors from the Irish plane crash that claimed six lives have received an emotional standing ovation during a memorial service for the victims.
Hundreds of people who gathered at the Church of the Assumption in Ballyphehane, near Cork airport, to offer prayers for those killed and injured in Thursday's tragedy paid spontaneous tribute to the emergency services who helped save six passengers.
The first of the victims of the ill-fated Manx2 commuter flight from Belfast, which crashed on its third attempt to land in thick fog, will be buried on Monday.
President Mary McAleese will attend the requiem mass of a relative who was among the dead.
Co Tyrone businessman Brendan McAleese, 39, who was a cousin of the president's husband Martin, will be buried after a funeral service at St MacNissius church in Tannaghmore, Antrim.
Requiem mass for 45-year-old Pat Cullinan, a partner in leading accountancy firm KPMG in Belfast, will take place at St Patrick's Church in the Co Tyrone village of Cranagh.
The other four victims were Spanish pilot Jordi Gola Lopez, 31; co-pilot Andrew Cantle, 27, from York; 49-year-old businessman Richard Noble, who was originally from Derbyshire but lived in Northern Ireland, and Captain Michael Evans, 51, deputy harbour master in Belfast.
Bishop of Cork and Ross Dr John Buckley told the congregation he had no answers as to why the six men lost their lives in the disaster.
"All we can say is there are no answers," he said. "Suffering and death are mysterious. The Lord's ways are not our ways."
As members of the emergency services walked down the aisle of the church at the end of the service, the congregation applauded.