Saturday 26 May 2018

Airport police and fire service will pay a very special tribute to Rescue 116 colleagues today

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

Zainab Boladale

A special tribute will be paid today to the crew of Rescue Helicopter 116 by colleagues from Dublin Airport’s Police and Fire Service.

The workers and families of the lost crew will be joined by members of An Garda Síochána and the Irish Aviation Authority in cycling Dublin Airport's perimeter road seven times, which amounts to a total distance of 116km.

Captains Mark Duffy (51), Captain Dara Fitzpatrick (45), winch operator Ciarán Smith (38) and winchman Paul Ormsby (53) died when their Coast Guard helicopter crashed 12km off the Co Mayo coast on March 14

Dublin Airport Authority’s communication manager, Siobhán O’Donnell, said: "They wanted to do this as their own special event to celebrate what their lives were before such a tragic thing happened. They all really shared a special bond with each other."

The all-day event has received support from people who have been offering their services and food for the event. A gofundme page set up for the event has received €2,000 and the cash will be given to the R116 Fund.

"It didn’t start off as a fundraising event but people wanted to make donations," Ms O'Donnell said.

The cyclist will be going in and out of the airport through a special route that doesn’t interfere with the standard operation of flights and travellers.

Ms O’Donnell said drivers should take care and if anybody sees cyclist make sure to “honk their horns in support”.

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