Two in miracle escape as helicopter crashes into pub


Conor Feehan

A witness to the helicopter crash in Co Longford has described how he saw it hit the side of a pub before falling onto its side on the narrow banks of the Royal Canal. The two people in the helicopter miraculously escaped with their lives

The incident happened around 9.15pm yesterday in the village of Abbeyshrule in Co Longford beside the Rustic Inn, which operates as a bar and restaurant and also provides accommodation.

"We were up doing a bit of work at my father's family home and the helicopter flew across and I thought it was going a bit low down at the bridge, so my dad said we'd go down and have a look at it," 14-year-old Ciaran Doyle told RTE radio.

"I went up with my phone and recorded it, and it was hovering over the canal and we were watching it and it started to go in close to the Rustic Inn pub in the centre of the village.

"It was coming towards the back when it swung around and hit off the wooden back of the Rustic. It tore it, and there was water coming out, and the minute I saw it my hands started to shake and I picked up the phone and dialled the emergency services.


"I thought there was someone injured because the helicopter was turned over and the propellers did most of the damage to the building."

The helicopter may have been attempting a landing when the rotor hit the side of the pub.

A garda spokesperson said the scene was preserved for the Air Accident Investigations Unit.

The two people in the helicopter, who are not known locally, were treated for cuts, bruises and shock.

The owners of the Rustic Inn, which is close to an airfield, were treated for shock after the incident,