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Friday 22 November 2019

Taximan killed in gliding tragedy solved wedding gift mystery on last day

Dominika Skora and her tragic husband Rafal who died in a paragliding accident
Dominika Skora and her tragic husband Rafal who died in a paragliding accident

The devastated wife of a taxi driver who died in a paragliding accident has revealed how "happy" he was to find the man who had left a wedding voucher in his car just 24 hours before he died.

Rafal 'Ralph' Skora (41), a paragliding enthusiast originally from Poland but living in Artane, north Dublin, went out of his way to find the owner of the gift.

Prior to his fatal trip, the father-of-two had picked up a fare outside Merrion Row in the city centre on Friday evening.

He dropped the man at a Spar shop in Monkstown, nine kilometres away. It was only after Mr Skora had dropped off the man, that he found the gift voucher.

"[Rafal] was very happy to find them," his wife Dominika said.

Karma

"Before he left the house on Saturday morning he said that because he did something good and found them, karma will get back to him with something good as well.

"He was sure and he would have a lovely day and fly 100km [on Saturday]," she said.

Ms Skora revealed the voucher was still in her possession and appealed for the engaged couple to make contact so that she can return it to them.

"The voucher is still at home and I would love to get it to them," she said.

"Rafal really wanted them to have it back because finding them made him so happy.

"I have no contact details for the couple so I would be so grateful if they got in touch with me. It was Rafal's wish to return the voucher to them and I want that to happen."

Ms Skora said she realises the couple may not want to impose on her due to the accident but added: "Please get in touch - Rafal would have wanted them to be happy."

The experienced paraglider had taken off from Black Hill above Blessington Lakes and was last seen heading south over the Wicklow Mountains and Glenmalure.

The alarm was raised by Ms Skora on Saturday night when he failed to return home.

His body was found on Sunday at 8am in a field at Ballinacor Estate, Wicklow, after a search by a group of fellow paragliders and adventure sports enthusiasts, Wicklow Mountain Rescue and the Irish Coast Guard.

The Air Accident Investigation Unit (AAIU) has been informed and will begin an investigation to establish the cause of the incident.

"He was the best husband I could pray for and amazing father. That's all what matters. I will never forget him. I'll hope to see him in my dreams," said Ms Skora.

"Rafal will be so missed by his son, 21-year-son Jakub from his first marriage who lives in Poland.

"I will make sure my children with Rafal, Benjamin who is three-years-old and 12-week-old Julianna, will know everything there is to know about their father."

Dublin Taxi Drivers (DTD) paid tribute to Mr Skora, saying: "Rest in peace to the most honest taxi driver."

Plea

Mr Skora had pleaded for help on the DTD Facebook page to trace the man, who is to marry on May 24.

He posted: "Hi guys, I found a wedding card and 500 euro BT (Brown Thomas) gift card in my taxi today (Friday, May 10).

"Picked customer up at Merrion Row and dropped off at Spar in Monkstown. All I know is that is his [first] name and he is going to marry… in two weeks time. I would love to get it back to him. Please share. Thanks."

Hundreds of people, some from as far away as Canada, helped him to find the man with 22,000 people sharing his post.

Several hours later, the couple was found via a wedding group called theknot.com.

The popular taxi driver posted on the Facebook page, saying: "Looks like I found them... Back to work now…"

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