Wednesday 21 February 2018

Airline pilot now in a stable condition after stabbing on island

Pilot Des Collins
Pilot Des Collins
Basket weaver Vincent McCarron
Inis Mor, on the Aran Islands
Caroline Crawford

Caroline Crawford

ARAN islanders on Inis Mor have told of their shock following an incident which saw two men hospitalised, one of them with critical injuries.

Gardai are continuing to investigate after airline pilot Des Collins (47) was stabbed in the chest at Mainistir on Inis Mor at lunchtime on Tuesday.

He was stabilised at the scene by local GP Dr Marion Broderick before he was airlifted to University Hospital Galway where he received emergency treatment.

He remains in hospital where he is described as being in a stable condition. Gardai hope to speak to him as soon as his condition improves.

A second man, Vincent McCarron (67), sustained minor injuries in the incident.

He was also airlifted to hospital were he was treated.

Residents of the island, which is home to an 800-strong community, expressed their shock at the incident.

Friends and colleagues of Mr Collins, an Aer Arann Islands pilot who has worked on the island for the past 12 years, described him as a gentleman yesterday. One colleague said: "Dessie is a great guy. He's a very fit man, he swims every day in Galway. He'll be off for a while over this, but he'll be wanting to get back to work. As soon as he's cleared to fly, he'll be back."

Mr McCarron (67), a basket weaver, is originally from Dublin but has lived on the island for a number of decades and raised a family there.

His youngest son Uinseon (24) tragically died in New South Wales in Australia in May. Tuesday marked his sixth-month anniversary.

The McCarron family were too upset to speak yesterday.

A friend of both men on the island said the entire community was in shock.

"Dessie's a nice guy, everyone on the island likes him. And Vincent is a lovely guy. He's a real family man and losing Uinseon hit him very hard," he added.

Superintendent Noel Kelly of Salthill garda station in Galway appealed for anyone who was in the vicinity and may have witnessed anything to contact gardai in Kilronan or Salthill on 099 61102 or 091 514720, or the Garda Confidential Line 1800 666 111.

Irish Independent

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