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Video: Irish pub horror crash helicopter pilot arrested

By Ed Carty

Published 17/07/2015

The pilot of a helicopter which crashed into a canal side pub has been arrested.

Garda said the man was detained on suspicion of endangerment after the Gazelle aircraft smashed into the back of the Rustic Inn, Abbeyshrule, Co Longford on Wednesday night.

Dramatic video footage filmed by locals and on CCTV captured the helicopter hovering a few feet above the Royal Canal before its propeller clipped the pub and spun the tail into the pub.

Two men were on board escaped with only minor injuries.

Teddy and Betty McGoey, owners of the Rustic Inn, revealed their own narrow escape.

They had gone into a back function room to investigate after hearing the helicopter hovering low overhead for a few minutes. They were standing on the dancefloor when the impact blasted a 10 foot wide hole in the wall.

Mr McGoey said he was hit below the eye while his wife's glasses were blown off her face.

Garda said the arrested man, aged in his 60s and from the UK, was detained at Dublin Airport. The second man on board was David Bruton, an award-winning aerobatic pilot and owner of Midland Aviation based at Abbeyshrule Aerodrome, about one mile from the crash site.

Ciaran Doyle (14), from Aughnacliffe, Longford, was in Abbeyshrule with his father Padraic and recorded the crash.

"As I was taking a video the helicopter hit off the Rustic Inn and flipped over on its side," he said.

Scene of the helicopter crash at Abbeyshrule, in Co Longford
Scene of the helicopter crash at Abbeyshrule, in Co Longford
Scene of the helicopter crash at Abbeyshrule, in Co Longford
Scene of the helicopter crash at Abbeyshrule, in Co Longford
Scene of the helicopter crash at Abbeyshrule, in Co Longford
The scene of the crash at Abbeyshrule, Co Longford, yesterday
The scene of the crash at Abbeyshrule, Co Longford, yesterday
Witness Ciaran Doyle

"I used the mobile that I had been videoing with to phone the emergency services."

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