St Brendan’s Church in Tirrane was packed to capacity this morning, for the first anniversary Mass of the crew of Coastguard Rescue 116 helicopter, which crashed off north Mayo one year ago today.

Four crew members were onboard when the Sikorsky helicopter went down near Blackrock Island at 12.46 am on 14th March last year.

The bodies of Captain Dara Fitzpatrick and Captain Mark Duffy were recovered, however winchmen Paul Ormsby and Ciarán Smith remain lost at sea – despite extensive searches.

A candlelight vigil was held in Erris last night, while today’s events got underway with Mass at 10am in St Brendan’s Church, Tirrane.

In heavy rain and high winds, a wreath-laying ceremony then took place at the Blacksod Lighthouse.

The wreaths were then taken by the Granuaile – the Irish Lights vessel – to the crash site off Blackrock Island.

The crew member’s families were due to visit the crash site, but were unable to travel by boat due to the weather conditions.












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