Family pay tribute to tragic Brendan
THE family of crash victim Brendan McAleese has described him as "a doting father and a loving husband, son and brother".
His distraught pregnant wife Anne Marie and two young daughters, Ava (5) and Erin (3), survive the 39-year-old managing director of a successful Co Tyrone-based company.
In a brief statement issued yesterday, his family described him as a true gentleman, adding that the impact of the tragedy had yet to sink in.
"Brendan was a special character, a doting father, a loving husband, son and brother and a true gentleman to all who knew him."
The family also thanked all who had offered kind thoughts and words of comfort.
"We also remember that five other families are walking this path along with us," they said.
He had been on his way to a business meeting in Cork on Thursday morning when the tragedy struck.
Yesterday, at the headquarters of Central Laundries and Spring Grove Services in the tiny village of Sandholes near Cookstown, ashen-faced staff struggled to come to terms with the loss of a popular boss with a "larger than life personality".
Tributes also poured in for the other victims of Thursday's crash. Richard Noble was the Irish Divisional Director with printing equipment firm Danwood. The 49-year-old was originally from England, but had settled in Belfast with his wife and family.
"We are shocked and deeply saddened by the news that our colleague and friend Richard Noble has died in this terrible accident. Our thoughts and prayers are with Richard's wife, daughter, family and friends and all of his colleagues," a statement from his company said.
Pat Cullinan (45) was a senior partner in firm KPMG in Belfast and was a frequent flier to Cork. His cousin Tom paid tribute to him and his loyalty to his family. "Pat was a loving son. He was very close to his mother and kept in constant contact with her."
Another victim, Capt Michael Evans, was the deputy harbour master at Belfast Port and his workmates were devastated by news of his passing.
The other two victims were Captain Jordi Sola Lopez and co-pilot Andy Candle. Tributes have been paid to both by families and friends from their respective homes of Barcelona and Sunderland, north England.