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Ballina mourns plane crash victim


Ciara Galvin

“A MAN who loved nothing more than being in the sky, and with his family.” That is how airplane crash victim Michael McCarrick has been remembered.
The funeral of Mr McCarrick, who passed away on Friday after his two seater plane came down three miles outside Ballina, takes place today (Tuesday).
Mourners will gather at St Muredach’s Cathedral in Ballina at 12.30pm to pay their final respects to the married father of two, who was the sole occupant of the aircraft that grounded in a field in the area of Breaffy, after 6pm on Friday last.
Mr McCarrick (58), from Belleek Lodge, and originally from Cloonacool, Sligo, had lived in the Ballina area for many years and worked with the ESB for close to 40 years.
The father of two, was known as an experienced pilot and regularly flew his own light aircraft and embarked on last Friday’s route in the direction of Cloonacool sometime after 5pm.
“He just left work in great form and said he was going for ‘a spin’ as he would call it as it was a nice day for it,” said friend and longtime colleague Cllr John O’Hara,
Cllr O’Hara worked with Mr McCarrick for 35 years and said he was a ‘kind gentleman’ who was ‘thorough in everything he did’.
“He would have brought colleagues and friends [flying], everything was checked beforehand, there was no half measures,” explained the councillor.
Locals in the area reportedly heard sounds to indicate that the plane was in difficulty before it went to ground.
The scene was forensically examined by the Air Accident Investigation Unit and the aircraft has since been removed for further examination.
Mr McCarrick is deeply mourned by his wife Breege, who is an employee of Mayo County Council in Ballina, son Finn, daughter Aoife and extended family and friends.

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