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They put their lives at risk to save others

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Dara Fitzpatrick

Dara Fitzpatrick

Dara Fitzpatrick

A black day in Blacksod. For the second time in just over six months, the nation finds itself mourning the loss of rescue crew members who died while in the line of duty.

On Monday night, off the coast of Co Mayo, Coast Guard helicopter Rescue 116 went to the assistance of colleagues taking an ill fisherman from a trawler in the Atlantic.

Then contact was lost.

The lives of the crew are now all feared to be lost.

Dara Fitzpatrick was recovered from the sea yesterday morning but died a short time later at Mayo University Hospital.

The bodies of Mark Duffy, Ciaran Smith and Paul Ormsby are all still the subject of wide-ranging search.

The debris from the helicopter is also being gathered from the sea.

The absence of an explanation for the crash leaves many questions to be answered another day.

President Michael D Higgins led the country's tributes to Captain Fitzpatrick, a pilot with more than 20 years' experience who was involved in countless missions.

"We are all grateful for the courage, resolution and exemplary commitment to the aims of the Coast Guard that Captain Fitzpatrick and her colleagues have consistently displayed," said President Higgins.

The deaths of Coast Guard volunteer Caitriona Lucas last year and now Coast Guard helicopter pilot Dara Fitzpatrick are a stark reminder of how these selfless women, and their colleagues, put their lives on the line to help others on a daily basis.

Over the coming days, the thoughts of the nation will be with the families of these brave members of Rescue 116.

Don't expect fair play in battle for Brexit banks

'It's so unfair . . ." - That was the catch-cry of Kevin the Teenager, a satirical character depicted by the British impressionist Harry Enfield.

Clearly, Junior Minister for Finance Eoghan Murphy was a fan of the comic, as he has now adopted his slogan to express his frustration.

The hardball tactics being used by European competitors in the race to attract banks bailing out of London ahead of Brexit has come as a surprise to the powers that be here.

Finance houses want a base inside the EU to access the single market, resulting in locations such as Frankfurt, Paris, Luxembourg and Dublin being on the table.

The minister is complaining to the European Commission that Dublin is being undercut by other cities competing to host financial firms looking for a European Union base outside London after Brexit.

The Government and Central Bank are adamant it won't allow so-called "brass plate" entities to be set up here without adequate capital back-up.

But that doesn't mean other countries will play by those rules.

In a less-than-shock development, other cities are offering incentives, such as a lower regulatory bar.

Mr Murphy has raised concerns with the European Commission about "creeping regulatory arbitrage" - a reference to undercutting rivals with lax rules.

Our opposing numbers might argue that a 12.5pc corporation tax isn't playing by the same rules either.

Irish Independent