A MILTOWN Malbay father who died in an air crash at the weekend has been remembered as a “gentleman” with his loss described as a “terrible tragedy” ahead of his funeral mass this Thursday.
Michael Flynn of Kilcorcoran, Miltown Malbay lost his life when a powered hang glider he was piloting crashed in a field off the Ballard Road about a kilometre from Miltown Malbay on Sunday.
Family and friends gathered for an emotional goodbye at his funeral mass on Thursday in St Joseph’s Church, Miltown Malbay. Speaking to the Clare Champion Fr Donagh O’Meara said Mr Flynn “was a lovely character, a lovely man, just a gentleman. He was very well got in the community, very well liked.”
Mr Flynn’s death has sent shockwaves across the local community. He was well known in the local area and worked as a plumber as well as being involved in farming.
“It has been an awful shock for everybody. It is just so hard to get your head around it, life can change in a moment. It is deeply sad, a terrible tragedy for his wife and children,” said Fr O’Meara.
He added that the local community have been offering support to Mr Flynn’s family at this difficult time. “There is a great community here, really fantastic and they have been rallying around the family which is great to see at a time like this.”
On Sunday National Ambulance Service paramedics, units of Clare County Fire and Rescue Service from Ennistymon station and Gardaí rushed to the scene of the accident when the alarm was raised.
The Air Accident Investigation Unit (AAIU) of the Department of Transport were notified and inspectors travelled to the site on Monday.
A spokesperson for the AAIU confirmed, “Two Inspectors of Air Accidents from the AAIU travelled to the accident site on Monday of this week to carry out a survey of the site and an initial technical examination of the powered hang glider.
The hang glider and engine were recovered to the AAIU aircraft hangar in Gormanston where further technical examinations will be carried out. A final report will be published in due course.”
Earlier this week Chair of the West Clare Municipal District Councillor Shane Talty expressed sympathy with the Flynn family saying, “This is a tragic and sudden loss and a difficult time for his family”.
“The community, friends, and neighbours will have them in their thoughts and try and help them to get through what is a difficult experience. This is a very close knit community, he was very well known locally and I know his neighbours and friends will do all they can to support the family.”
Mr Flynn is survived by his wife Helen, children Aoife and Oisín, brother Joe, sisters Carmel, Helen and Bernie, brother-in-law Dan, sister-in-law Bernie, niece Amy, nephew Ian, relatives, neighbours and friends.