President praises courage of Irish Coast Guard following fatal helicopter crash

Ireland's President, Michael D Higgins, has said his thoughts are with the family of Captain Dara Fitzpatrick who died after an Irish Coast Guard helicopter crashed in the early hours of this morning. Three crew members of Rescue 116, named as Mark Duffy, Ciarán Smith and Paul Ormsby, are still missing. The Dublin based helicopter had gone to provide cover for another Coast Guard helicopter which had been helping an injured crewman on a fishing boat 150 nautical miles west of Eagle Island in Co Mayo.

President Higgins said the country is "grateful for the courage, resolution and exemplary commitment to the aims of the Coast Guard that Captain Fitzpatrick and her colleagues have consistently displayed".

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