herald

Saturday 24 August 2019

Paragliding pals will scatter Rafal's ashes during tribute flight

Rafal and Dominika Skora
Rafal and Dominika Skora

Friends of a father-of-three who died while taking part in the hobby he loved plan to scatter his ashes while paragliding over the Wicklow hills.

Rafal 'Ralph' Skora (41), who lived in Artane, Dublin, was a taxi driver and an experienced glider. He had taken off from Black Hill above Blessington Lakes on May 11.

He was last seen heading south over the Wicklow Mountains and Glenmalure.

The alarm was raised by his wife Dominika (32) that night when he failed to return home.

Investigate

His body was found by a group of fellow paragliders and adventure sports enthusiasts, as well as Wicklow Mountain Rescue and the Irish Coast Guard the following morning.

The Air Accident Investigation Unit is continuing to investigate the cause of the accident.

Rafal captured the hearts of the nation by trying to track down a man he picked up outside Merrion Row on the evening of May 10.

He had dropped the man at a Spar shop in Monkstown, 9km away.

It was only later that he found a wedding gift voucher worth €500 that the passenger had left behind.

Rafal launched a successful social media campaign to find the man only 24 hours before he was killed.

Dominika and Rafal had their second child, a girl named Julianna, two months before the tragedy.

They also have a three-year-old son, Benjamin, and Rafal had a 21-year-old son, Jakub, from his first marriage.

"His death was tragic but he died doing what he loved. By the end of this month, if weather conditions are good, his friends and co-pilots will take him for his last flight on this earth," said Dominika, who is originally from Slovakia.

"We will spread his ashes into the Irish air and bury the urn in the mountains. I can't imagine a better way to say our last goodbye.

"I would like to thank everyone who helped me and our children as this is the hardest time of our lives without him.

"To our family, friends, neighbours and strangers for their kind words, prayers and also financial help. We will never, ever forget how good you have been and are to us.

"I will think about him every single day until we meet again in the future.

"It's breaking my heart that he won't see our children grow up and see what kind of people they will become.

"But I will do everything possible to make sure that our children will know what kind of person he was and how much he loved them."

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