Press Release

Statement from Minister for Health Simon Harris on the terrible tragedy to befall the Irish Coast Guard crew of Rescue 116

It is striking that on a bright spring day such a dark cloud hangs over Ireland.

The crew of Rescue 116 represent all that is good about our country – they epitomise courage, bravery, selflessness and dedication to the welfare of others.

These traits were all on display again overnight on our West Coast.

This crew joined their colleagues in an effort to help a fishing vessel crewman access medical care.

We now know that, tragically, Captain Dara Fitzpatrick has passed away.

Often at times of great difficulty and sadness, we see people pull together – this has been so evident today as the ongoing, collective effort of our emergency services and the local community work together on this search mission.

Our hearts go out to the families of the crew, their colleagues, their communities and all in the Emergency Services community at this time of great sorrow.