Date Published : March 18th, 2017 Published By : adminHundreds of mourners gathered at St. Patricks Church in Glencullen, Co. Dublin, for the funeral of Captain Dara Fitzpatrick.
The cortege arrived at the church at 11am and was met by an honor guard led by the Irish Coast Guard.
Captain Fitzpatrick’s coffin was accompanied into the church by her parents, sisters, her brother and her son Fionn.
President Michael D Higgins and An Taoiseach Enda Kenny attended the funeral.
The late Captain Dara Fitzpatrick. Photo: (Valarie O' Sullivan)
As service men and women from services all over Ireland gathered inside and outside the church, in his homily, Fr. Andrew O’ Sullivan told mourners "Dara’s tragic death has stunned all of us gathered here this morning. It has created a deep void in the lives of her loving family who are truly heartbroken. The reality of death with all its pain and sense of terrible loss, confronts us at this moment. The Fitzpatrick family and the community have lost a loved one and valuable member who had lived life to the fullest."
Fr O’ Sullivan said Captain Fitzpatrick and her missing colleagues were heroes: "We are expressing gratitude to the Fitzpatrick family for moulding Dara into that wonderful young woman and mother that she was. Over the last few days many stories have been told about Dara and how she was a wonderful colleague and friend and indeed of the incredible professionalism and bravery of those in the coastguard and in our emergency services. How these extraordinary people put their own lives at risk in order to save others. They truly are heroes” he said.
Fr. O'Sullivan said those gathered were also mindful of the three remaining crew members who have yet to be recovered.
Dara’s sister tells mourners ‘God owes us, he owes us to bring home Dara’s three colleagues who are still missing’.
R117 Flyover at the funeral. Pic: (Courtesy Damien Tiernan / RTÉ News)
The Irish Coast Guard's Waterford based rescue helicopter R117 carried out a flyover at the funeral as family members, close friends and hundreds of personnel from the various emergency, search and rescue and voluntary services looked on.
Pic: (Courtesy Damien Tiernan / RTÉ News)
Supporting their colleagues in the Irish Coast Guard, members from the RNLI, Mountain Rescue teams, Search & Rescue, Civil Defence, National Ambulance Service, Fire & Rescue service, An Garda Síochána and the Defence Forces were all represented at the funeral.
Pat Flynn, a photo/journalist in Ennis, Co. Clare, and an aviation enthusiast posted this irony of R116 and R117 on his social media pages.