Wednesday 23 October 2019

Wife of tragic paraglider wants to return wedding gift to couple he tracked down just a day before his death

Generous taxi driver went to great lengths to return a wedding gift to a passenger who inadvertently left it in his taxi

Rafal Skora with Dominika.
Rafal Skora with Dominika.

Sarah Slater

The devastated wife of a taxi driver who died in a paragliding accident on Saturday has revealed how “happy” he was to find the man who had left a wedding gift in his car just 24 hours before he died.

Rafal ‘Ralph’ Skóra (41), a paragliding enthusiast originally from Poland but living in Artane north Dublin and worked as a taxi driver, went out of his way to find the owner of a gift voucher left in his car on Friday night.

The experienced glider had taken off from Black Hill above Blessington Lakes and was last seen heading south over the Wicklow Mountains and Glenmalure. The alarm was raised by his wife Dominika on Saturday night when he failed to return home.

His body was found on Sunday at 8am by a group of fellow paragliders and adventure sports enthusiasts, as well as Wicklow ­Mountain Rescue, and the Irish Coast Guard Rescue.

The father-of-two's body was discovered nearby when the ground search crews were directed to the scene.

His body was removed for post-mortem, and the Air Accident Investigation Unit (AAIU) has been informed and will begin an investigation to establish the cause of the incident.

Mr Skóra had picked up a fare outside Merrion Row in the city centre on Friday evening, just 24 hours prior to his fatal trip on Saturday.

He dropped the man at a Spar shop in Monkstown, nine kilometres away. It was only when Ralph had dropped the man, that he found a gift voucher belonging to him.

“He was very happy to find them and before he left the house on Saturday morning. He said, that because he did something good and found them, karma will get back to him with something good as well," his wife said.

“He was sure he would have a lovely day and fly 100 kilometres (on Saturday).

Mrs Skóra also revealed that the voucher was still in her possession and appealed for the engaged couple to make contact so that she can return it to them.

“The voucher is still at home and I would love to get it to them. Rafal really wanted them to have it back because finding them made him so happy.

“I have no contact details for the couple so I would be so grateful if they got in touch with me. It was Rafal’s wish to return the voucher to them and I want that to happen.”

Mrs Skóra said she realises that the couple may not want to impose on her due to the accident but added: “Please get in touch - Rafal would have wanted them to be happy.

“He was the best husband I could pray for and amazing father. That's all what matters. I will never forget him. I'll hope to see him in my dreams.”

She added: “Rafal will be so missed by his 21-year-son Jakub from his first marriage who lives in Poland. I will make sure that my children with Rafal , Benjamin who is three-years-old and Juliana who is 12-weeks-old, will know everything there is to about their father."

The Dublin Taxi Drivers organisation paid tribute to Mr Skóra for his caring and kind act on Friday night. “Rest in peace to the most honest taxi driver.”

Scores of people who helped Mr Skóra find the man who left the voucher from his work colleagues in his taxi were shocked to read on Dublin Taxi Drivers Facebook page of his accident.

One said: “Oh My God, how sad, was only reading about how he got the voucher back to the owner. RIP to the poor guy, thinking of his family at this sad time,” while another added: “I along with others remarked on his honesty on finding the owner of wedding gift voucher ....such a tragedy, may he RIP.”

Mr Skóra, took to the Facebook page 'Dublin Taxi Drivers' on Friday night, asking for help in trying to trace the man who is to marry on May 24.

He posted: “Hi guys, I found a wedding card and 500 euro BT (Brown Thomas) gift card in my taxi today (Friday 10th of May).

“Picked customer up at Merrion Row and dropped off at Spar in Monkstown. All I know is that is his (first) name and he is going to marry (first name) in two weeks time. I would love to get it back to him. Please share. Thanks.”

Hundreds of people, as far away as Canada, helped Mr Skóra to find the man he had dropped off with 22,000 people sharing his post with many more praising the taxi driver for being so “kind, caring and honest”.

One commented on Friday night: “You're truly remarkable so well done,” while another added: “Fair play. Great to see some honest people still out there. Well done to you.”

Several hours later those who set out to help Ralph located the man and his fiancée via a wedding group called, theknot.com.

The popular taxi driver posted on the Facebook page saying; “Looks like I found them...Thanks to my friend Sean Howlett. Sean- great job! Im just after sending them both (a) message. Back to work now…”

A GoFundMe account has been set by friends of Rafal and his family to raise money towards funeral costs. The link can be found here

Online Editors

Editor's Choice

Also in Irish News