The Air Corps brings Tory Islanders stranded on the Donegal mainland back home along with much needed food and essential goods.

For over a week the Tory Island ferry service has been unable to travel due to unseasonably bad weather. A number of islanders faced the prospect of spending the Easter holidays on the Donegal mainland. Among them were students attending school in Falcarragh, and Pádraig Duggan returning home from London.

I’d heard it was bad alright, but you’d never think it was this bad.

Islanders are usually well stocked with supplies but they were not expecting the adverse weather and food stores supplies on Tory are running low.

The helicopter crew are on usually on 24 hour call for search and rescue missions in the north-west however island relief missions are not unusual. In a five hour period 21 people were brought out to the Island along with two tonnes of food and other essentials.

Pilot David Sparrow says the storm force winds and heavy showers but do not pose any major problems once the helicopter is airborne.

There is always an element of danger in any helicopter mission and in weather conditions like this I guess it’s heightened slightly.

An RTÉ News report broadcast on 1 April 1994. The reporter is Eileen Magnier.