Published 09/10/2012 | 12:40
A MEMBER of the Air Corps who died tragically in a helicopter crash off the Waterford coast some 13 years ago has been added to the RNLI Roll of Honour at the RNLI College in Dorset, UK.
Sgt Paddy Mooney, pictured, who along with three colleagues were killed in the accident were among a total of 11 names added to the memorial sculpture, which was originally unveiled outside the RNLI College back in 2009 depicts a person in a boat reaching out to save another person from the water. They join the 778 people already commemorated on the RNLI Memorial, which already includes 65 names from Irish lifeboat stations. Sgt Mooney, who lived in Stamullen but who had close ties with sporting clubs in Balbriggan, along with Captains Mick Baker and Dave O'Flaherty and Corporal Niall Byrne, lost their lives when the helicopter they were in went down during a search and rescue operation off the Waterford coast. A small memorial service was held in Clogherhead RNLI lifeboat station and was attended by members of Sergeant Paddy Mooney's family including his father Martin and his sister and brother, Edel and David. Members of the Dundalk RNLI fundraising branch, Charlie McCarthy and Michael Harris-Bark also attended to honour the four men from Clogherhead who drowned attempting to save the lives of others. 'We are very appreciative of the RNLI including these names on the memorial. When the tragedy happened the grief was too raw to comprehend what had happened but as time passes it is touching to see that Paddy and the others have been honoured for their bravery. 'Both the RNLI memorial and the parish memorial in Stamullen are very important to our family. Myself and my wife Miriam along with our children David, Edel, Veronica and Carmel are deeply grateful to everyone concerned,' Martin Mooney stated. The RNLI Memorial, designed by Sam Holland ARBS stands more than 4.5m in height and symbolises the history, and future, of the RNLI in its most basic and humanitarian form.