The funeral took place today of the first of the four Air Corps helicopter crewmen who were killed in Thursday's crash at Tramore. A requiem mass for Captain Dave O'Flaherty was held this morning at Baldonnel, near Dublin. He was buried this afternoon in his home town of Tullamore in County Offaly. The funerals of his three colleagues will take place tomorrow and on Tuesday. The men will be buried with full military honours.
The remains of the four airmen arrived at Baldonnel just after seven o'clock last night. Their coffins were carried by Air Corps colleagues to their home hanger at Casement Aerodrome. Dozens of family and friends attended the prayer service and they were joined by colleagues of the four men from the Air Corps, the army and the navy. President Mary McAleese and an Taoiseach, Bertie Ahern were amongst those present, as well as the Tánaiste and Ministers Michael Woods and Michael Smith.
The sense of shock and disbelief in the wake of this tragedy was captured by Reverand Eoin Tyne who said that what had happened on Friday was unbelievable - a tragic accident which took the lives of four of our finest and most experienced airmen. The Air Corps helicopter was returning from a successful rescue mission on Friday when it crashed due to the foggy conditions.