Mayo Sinn Féin TD, Rose Conway-Walsh, has welcomed the publication of the Air Accident Report into the R116 tragedy today which will enable long-awaited inquests to go ahead.
Speaking today, Teachta Conway-Walsh said:
“My thoughts are with the families of Dara Fitzpatrick, Mark Duffy, Paul Ormsby and Ciarán Smith. This will no doubt be an extremely difficult day for them and they are to the foremost in our minds at this very upsetting time.
“People here in Erris, the Mullet Peninsula and the wider Mayo area share a special affinity with the families of the crew. The community here took them into their hearts as the tragedy unfolded in March 2017. Today, we are reminded again of how their lives changed forever on that fateful night.
“The final report into the Rescue 116 crash has been published by the Air Accident Investigation Unit this morning. This has been a long process and I welcome that inquests can now be held into the deaths of those who lost their lives in this terrible tragedy.
“It is vital that lessons are learnt from what has occurred here, to ensure that all crews can work safely and have confidence that sufficient provisions are in place to protect them.
“There must now be thorough and robust action from the Department of Transport, the Irish Coast Guard and those involved in search and rescue operations to ensure that measures are put in place to protect crews.”