Belfast Telegraph

Sister of Irish helicopter crash pilot Dara Fitzpatrick tells of pain a year on

By Fiona Dillon

The sister of Captain Dara Fitzpatrick has spoken about her loss as the first anniversary of the tragic R116 rescue helicopter crash approaches.

"It's nearly a year since my sister died. Almost 52 weeks since I last saw her. I never went that long in my whole life without seeing her," said Niamh Fitzpatrick yesterday in a posting on Twitter.

"Now I'll live the rest of my life without ever seeing her again.

"Make sure that your loved ones know that you love them. It does help," she said.

The post received a huge reaction online, with many people sending their best wishes and support to the Fitzpatrick family, along with all the families bereaved in the tragedy.

Capt Fitzpatrick, along with Capt Mark Duffy, winch operator Paul Ormsby and winchman Ciaran Smith, died when their Sikorsky S-92 helicopter crashed at Blackrock Island, some 13km west of the Mullet peninsula, in the early hours of March 14 last year.

The bodies of both Mr Ormsby and Mr Smith have not been recovered, despite extensive air, sea and shore searches.

A preliminary inquest into the deaths had been due to open last week in Mayo, but was deferred until a later date - which has yet to be confirmed - due to the severe weather conditions.

Belfast Telegraph

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