Tributes to five killed in chopper accident
Relatives have spoken of their heartbreak at the death of five members of a UK-based Irish family in a helicopter crash in Wales.
Atrocious weather conditions including rapidly deteriorating visibility are now considered to have been key factors in the tragedy. The revelation came as UK rescue officials defied appalling weather in the Rhinog mountains in Snowdonia in north Wales to recover the bodies of brothers Kevin, Barry and Donald Burke, as well as Kevin's wife, Ruth, and sister-in-law, Sharon.
The helicopter crashed on Wednesday en route to Dublin.
Mayo publican Noel Collins, a cousin of the Burke brothers, said the Kilcummin area was shocked. "They would have been here [in the pub] tomorrow [Saturday] night if things had gone right. They were on their way over.
"Kevin would go out farming with me as a lad, making turf, saving hay. In later years, like the others, he would help out in the bar. There was no one friendlier with the lads than me," he said.
British model and celebrity TV star Danielle Lloyd paid tribute to Kevin and Ruth Burke, with whom she was very friendly. "They were two of the nicest people I've ever had the privilege to meet and my thoughts and prayers are with all the family," she said.