Monday 21 August 2017

'This is lonely' - Sister of Rescue 116 captain Dara Fitzpatrick on family's grief

Niamh Fitzpatrick lays a wreath in memory of the crew of R116, her sister Dara, Paul Ormsby, Mark Duffy and Ciarán Smith. Photo: Patrick Browne
Niamh Fitzpatrick lays a wreath in memory of the crew of R116, her sister Dara, Paul Ormsby, Mark Duffy and Ciarán Smith. Photo: Patrick Browne
Brian O'Reilly

Brian O'Reilly

THE sister of hero Rescue 116 captain Dara Fitzpatrick has spoken about how she has been coping since the tragedy.

The coastguard helicopter crashed off the coast of Mayo almost six weeks ago.

The bodies of Dara and her co-pilot Mark Duffy have since been recovered, however the search continues for her colleagues Ciaran Smyth and Paul Orsmby.

Speaking to Neil Delamere on Today FM this morning, Niamh Fitzpatrick spoke about life since the tragedy.

Captain Dara Fitzpatrick
Captain Dara Fitzpatrick

"You get the inconsolable moments, and then you have moments where you feel numb; as if this is all happening, but it’s happening through a glass window and we’re watching it.

"The odd time, you feel normal, and then you feel weird feeling normal."

She revealed that the family have been overwhelmed with the support they have received:

"‘I didn’t need my faith humanity restored because I always had it, but my faith in humanity has been boosted by the way that people have shown their support. It’s been absolutely incredible, and it does help, because this is lonely."

Mourned: (from the top left, clockwise) Capt Dara Fitzpatrick, Capt Mark Duffy, and winchmen Ciaran Smith and Paul Ormsby
Mourned: (from the top left, clockwise) Capt Dara Fitzpatrick, Capt Mark Duffy, and winchmen Ciaran Smith and Paul Ormsby

She the failure so far of rescuers to find the bodies of Ciaran Smyth and Paul Orsmby "rips through the heart" of the family.

"If Dara Fitz is in heaven, she needs to have a word with God, fairly fast", she added.

Martina Smyth, wife of Ciaran Smyth, passed along a message of her own through the show:

“Please just get across a massive thank you to the amazing people who have surrounded us. The goodness in this world far outweighs the bad. How blessed we are and none of us must ever forget it. The four crew we now grieve for, blessed our lives, and they have put special people at our sides. So it is as simple as ‘thank you’.”

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