Friday 15 December 2017

'We need those boys home now'

Orla Smith
Orla Smith

John Manning

A nation was moved by the words of the sister of lost Coast Guard Ciaran Smith who went on television last week to appeal for help in the search for her missing brother whose loss is being felt across Fingal.

Orla Smith, described the continuing agonising search for her brother as a 'living nightmare for all of us, for all of my family and for Paul Ormsby's family - it is a living nightmare'.

She told reporters: 'We are doing our best to keep going and to stay as strong as possible and as positive as we possibly can but it is tough, it is really, really tough.

'We need those boys home now, we really do. My parents need him home, my sister-in-law needs him home, my nieces need him home. They have to come home now, you know, we need to find them.'

She appealed for fishing vessels the length of the north western coastline to aid in the search and more than 120 boats responded as the largest co-ordinated search for the missing crewmen of Rescue Helicopter 116 got underway on Saturday.

Communities in Oldtown, Swords and Donabate have deep connections with the Smith family and thoughts of home were not far from the family's mind as Orla made her heart-felt appeal for help.

She said: 'We have such gratitude towards everyone who had done something to help in any way at all. You can look behind me here, there are cards here from Swords where Ciaran was from and from my school, Loreto College who have sent food and sent parcels and sent prayers and thoughts and everything - it has helped my family get through this incredibly difficult time.

'That's where we are drawing our strength from at the moment, from the people who are sending prayers and thoughts and sending food and sending everything - that's where we are drawing our strength from.'

Orla was referencing a package sent by Loreto College Swords to Blacksod in Mayo containing food and good wishes for those involved in the search for Ciaran Smith and Paul Ormsby.

The thoughtful gesture was also acknowledged by Captain Ed Shivnen, from Dublin Search and Rescue Base R116, who took time to write to the school amid the search for his lost colleages.

He wrote: 'On behalf of the Blacksod Community Centre in Mayo, we would like to thank you for the very generous food donations, they are gratefully received.'

He added: 'All the volunteers and the emergency services were very touched by your kindness and your thoughtful and caring messages.'

Fingal Independent

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