Dundalk as it Happens
Captain Mark Duffy and Rescue 116 crew honoured at People of the Year awards
Blackrock man Captain Mark Duffy and the crew of Rescue 116 were amongst those honoured at last night’s Rehab People of the Year awards.
The father of two died in the course of duty on March 14th 2017 along with his colleagues Captain Dara Fitzpatrick, Paul Ormsby and Ciaran Smith when the Irish Coast Guard helicopter they were operating crashed into Blackrock Island off the coast of Co Mayo.
Last night the Irish Coast Guard, the crew of Rescue 116 and Caitríona Lucas were honoured for their bravery at the awards.
The people of Erris, Co Mayo were also noted for their contributions to the search and rescue operation following the tragic accident last year. Hundreds of volunteers, fishermen, and colleagues supported the emergency services in combing the area for the missing crew. The bodies of Dara Fitzpatrick and Mark Duffy were recovered in the subsequent searches. Despite intensive efforts, the bodies of Ciarán Smith and Paul Ormsby have yet to be recovered.
“The selfless actions of those who put their lives on the line, for the safety of others, means Caitríona, Dara, Ciáran, Mark and Paul will remain an inspiration to us all,” said Gerard O’Flynn, search and rescue operations manager with the Irish Coast Guard.
All five are set to feature in a new commemorative stamp colllection next year.
The award was presented on the night by broadcaster Bryan Dobson.
Accepting the award on behalf of the Irish Coast Guard, Mr O’Flynn said: “Going above and beyond is the norm for members of the Coast Guard service.
“‘The fact that these men and women often put their own lives in danger to carry out their duties makes the search and rescue crews such a remarkable group of people.”