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'Sad and sorrowful' - Funeral of pilot killed in crash takes place

CHURCH Image copyright RTE
Image caption Mourners included members of the Coast Guard who formed an honour guard before the funeral Mass

The funeral of the Irish coastguard pilot killed in a crash off the coast of County Mayo has taken place.

Captain Dara Fitzpatrick died after the Irish Coastguard Rescue 116 helicopter crashed on Tuesday.

Hundreds of mourners gathered for her funeral at St Patrick's Church in Glencullen, Co Dublin.

Captain Fitpatrick's parents, four siblings, her son Fionn, and other family members accompanied the coffin into the church.

The Coastguard helicopter did a fly past at the funeral.

'Loved and valuable'

Parish Priest Fr Andrew O'Sullivan said St Patrick's church had seen many sad and tragic funerals but few as sad and sorrowful as this one.

He paid tribute to the Fitzpatrick family and said they and the community had lost a "loved and valued member".

Image copyright RTE
Image caption Captain Fitpatrick's parents, four siblings, her son Fionn, and other family members accompanied the coffin into the church.

'Bring home'

He said their thoughts were with Captain Fitzpatrick's three crew members who are still missing.

Dara Fitzpatrick's sister told the funeral mass that "God owes us, he owes us to bring home Dara's three colleagues who are still missing".

Mourners included members of the Coast Guard who formed an honour guard before the 11:00 funeral Mass.

The President of Ireland, Michael D Higgins was in attendance, along with Taoiseach (Irish Prime Minister) Enda Kenny.

Also present were members of the RNLI, Civil Defence, mountain rescue and many other groups.

A signal from the helicopter's black box had been located close by but poor weather conditions have hampered efforts to find the device.

The main focus of the search operation is to locate three missing crew.

Agencies involved in the operation say it may be some time before they can try to access the area where they believe the wreckage of the aircraft is located.

Image copyright RTÉ
Image caption Captain Dara Fitzpatrick died after the Irish Coastguard Rescue 116 helicopter crashed off the Mayo coast on Tuesday

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