Rescue 111 Remembered

July 2 belongs to Rescue 111, the Irish Air Corps Helicopter which crashed in the sand dunes here in Tramore on this day in 1999. All four members of the crew were tragically killed on that foggy night 17 years ago:

They were:

Sgt Patrick Mooney, Stamullen, Co. Meath ~ aged 34 years

Capt. David O’Flaherty, Tullamore, Co. Offaly ~ aged 30 years

Capt. Michael Baker, Enniscorthy, Co. Wexford ~ aged 28 years

Cpl. Niall Byrne Killiney, Co. Dublin ~ aged 25 years 

Monument in Honour of the Irish Air Corps Helicopter Crew who died tragically on July 2, 1999

Not a day goes by that I don’t think of these brave young men who died in the service of people, like you and me, who may need them in some emergency situation and each time I look at their names and ages carved on the monument on the Promenade in Tramore they seem to get younger and younger.

Last evening, I witnessed loving echoes of Rescue 111. I was walking in Newtown Wood when Rescue 117 flew overhead. I couldn’t see it through the thick canopy of leaves but when I was driving home along the Cliff Road, it was hovering over Tramore Bay  and just as it was making its way to Waterford Airport, a rainbow lit up the sky as if serving as a beacon. I didn’t have my camera with me but made sure to bring it when I was heading out again just before nightfall.

What was beaming in the dark skies but one of the brightest rainbows I’ve ever seen and I blew it a kiss in loving memory of those precious men who will always live on in our hearts and memories.

Rainbow of Remembrance







Author: socialbridge

I am a sociologist and writer from Ireland. I have worked as a social researcher for 30 years and have had a lifelong passion for writing. My main research interests relate to health care and sense of place.

14 thoughts on “Rescue 111 Remembered”

  1. I love the rainbow and it’s a beautiful sign of rememberance for those who lost their lives prematurely.

  2. Beautiful tribute Jean. Gorgeous photo of the rainbow -with the sea grey like that. I know you are not a particularly religious person but there is a quote in Genesis that fits well, especially given your remembrance is for a helicopter crew (i.e. in the clouds): “God said, “This is the sign of the covenant which I am making between Me and you and every living creature that is with you, for all successive generations; I set My bow in the cloud, and it shall be for a sign of a covenant between Me and the earth.”” Indeed, a covenant for an air crew as well. May they rest in Peace.

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