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Eoin Beatty & Sarah Peppard

Listen: Taoiseach & President Pay Tribute To Captain Dara Fitzpatrick.

: 03/14/2017 - 16:36

(Image courtesy the BBC) The Taoiseach's led tributes to Captain Dara Fitzpatrick, who has died after being recovered off the coast of Mayo.

Captain Fitzpatrick was one of the four people on board Rescue 116, when it went down in waters off Blacksod last night.

The Taoiseach says the area is one he knows well.

16kenny-coastguard-leadall-clip-gr.mp3, by Ciara Plunkett

The Transport Minister says today is one of the darkest days for our brave and committed emergency services.

Shane Ross says his thoughts and prayers are with everyone involved:

16ross-coastguard-add-clip-pg.mp3, by Ciara Plunkett

President Michael D. Higgins has just issued a statement:

"Today marks a dark day in the history of the Coast Guard / Garda Cósta na hÉireann, with a member of this important service losing her life while providing assistance to others.

On behalf of the people of Ireland, may I pay tribute to Captain Dara Fitzpatrick who died today.

We are all grateful for the courage, resolution and exemplary commitment to the aims of the Coast Guard that Captain Fitzpatrick and her colleagues have consistently displayed.

My thoughts are with her family at this difficult moment and also with the families of the missing crew.

It is appropriate that we acknowledge and pay tribute to the efforts of her colleagues at the Coast Guard who have been working at a time, which must be for them, a time of great grief and uncertainty.

May I also commend the other emergency services, as well as those from local communities in Mayo, who responded so valiantly, and in great solidarity, at this time of tragedy."

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