herald

Thursday 16 August 2018

Families' farewells for two victims of Cork plane tragedy

FUNERALS for two of the victims of the Cork plane crash took place today.

Pat Cullinan and Brendan McAleese, who were among the six victims of last week's crash, were laid to rest today in services in Tyrone and Antrim.

Mr Cullinan (45) was buried after Requiem Mass in St Patrick's church in Crannagh in Co Tyrone.

The funeral cortege left his family's home at Glenelly Road today for the noon service and he was buried afterwards in the adjoining cemetery.

Meanwhile, President Mary McAleese was due to attend the requiem of a relative who was among the dead.

Her husband Martin's cousin, Brendan McAleese (39) was buried after 1pm mass at St MacNissus Church in Tannaghmore, Co Antrim.

The grieving family and girlfriend of pilot Jodi Sola Lopez (31) returned home to Barcelona on Saturday after identifying her remains.

The bodies of Richard Kenneth Noble (48) from Jordanstown in Belfast, Andrew John Cantle (27) from Sunderland and Joseph Michael Evans (51) from Belfast have all been returned to their families, who will make funeral arrangements later this week.

Yesterday, special services were held in memory of those who lost their lives.

Lawrence Wilson (51) from Larne and Donal Walsh (22) incredibly walked away from the wreckage.

Mr Wilson said that he was thankful to be alive but his heart went out to the families of those who had lost their lives.

"It feels so good to be alive," he said. "But I am sad, too, for the tragic loss of life that cannot be ignored."

His wife May spoke of her relief that her "walking miracle" husband had returned home safe.

The pair were released from hospital on Friday afternoon.

Another survivor, Heather Elliott (42), remains in hospital after undergoing surgery for internal injuries.

She cheated death along with Peter Cowley (31) of Glanmire, Cork, Mark Dickens from Watford, and Brendan Mallon (39) from Bangor, Co Down who all continued to be treated at the hospital.

Mr Mallon is said to be still too ill to speak publicly.

A total of 12 passengers were on board the NM7100, operated by Manx2.com from Belfast City Airport to Cork, when it crashed during its third attempt to land in dense fog last Thursday morning.

Air crash investigators are looking into why the 19-year-old Fairchild Metroliner wasn't diverted from Cork Airport to Shannon, Kerry or Waterford after its second failed landing attempt.

clairemurphy@herald.ie

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