LISTEN: Sister of Dara Fitzpatrick talks to Neil Delamere about the Rescue 116 tragedy 4 years ago

LISTEN: Sister of Dara Fitzpatrick talks to Neil Delamere about the Rescue 116 tragedy

It has been almost six weeks since the Rescue 116 tragedy, and the incident still feels fresh in the mind of Ireland.

While two of the crew have yet to be found, the bodies of Captain Dara Fitzpatrick and Captain Mark Duffy were subsequently discovered near the wreckage of the helicopter.


Niamh Fitzpatrick joined Neil Delamere on his Today FM show Sunday Best, where she talked about her much-missed sister Dara, as well as the rest of the crew of R116.

When discussing her grief, Niamh says: "You get the inconsolable moments, and then you have moments where you feel numb; as if this is all happening, but it’s happening through a glass window and we’re watching it. The odd time, you feel normal, and then you feel weird feeling normal."

She also gives some advice to anyone else who might also be suffering from grief-related depression, telling listeners “Some things in life cannot be fixed. They can only be carried. Perhaps your only way is to carry your own tragedy, maybe it cannot be fixed and made ok. Then strengthen your arms, your back, your body, get strong people around you and forget hope of ‘fixing’ and get carrying."

Niamh stated that the outpouring of support from friends, family and strangers across Ireland has been huge: "I didn’t need my faith humanity restored because I always had it, but my faith in humanity has been boosted by the way that people have shown their support. It’s been absolutely incredible, and it does help, because this is lonely."

This was echoed by Martina Smyth, wife of Ciarán Smyth - one of the two crew still not found - in a message she sent on to the station: “Please just get across a massive thank you to the amazing people who have surrounded us. The goodness in this world far outweighs the bad. How blessed we are and none of us must ever forget it. The four crew we now grieve for, blessed our lives, and they have put special people at our sides. So it is as simple as ‘thank you’.”

You can listen to the powerful interview in full here.