Widow of man who died in paragliding accident makes contact with couple who lost wedding gift

The search for a man who left a valuable wedding voucher in the car of a taxi driver killed in a paragliding accident has succeeded.

Rafal ‘Ralph’ Skóra, 41, a paragliding enthusiast originally from Poland, but living in Artane north Dublin, went out of his way to find the owner of a gift voucher left in his car on Friday night, just 24 hours prior to his fatal flight.

The experienced glider had taken off from Black Hill above Blessington Lakes and was last seen heading south over the Wicklow Mountains and Glenmalure. The alarm was raised by his wife Dominika on Saturday night when he failed to return home.

His body was found on Sunday at 8am by a group of fellow paragliders and adventure sports enthusiasts, as well as Wicklow ­Mountain Rescue, and the Irish Coast Guard Rescue.

The father-of-three's body was discovered nearby when the ground search crews were directed to the scene. The Air Accident Investigation Unit (AAIU) are investigating to establish the cause of the incident.

Dominika Skóra has confirmed that the man her late husband was trying to return the €500 to has made contact.

“Thankfully after my appeal for him to come forward, as Rafal would have wanted him to have it, he made contact with me which I am delighted about. He is due to marry abroad next week and the family wish him all the best.

The man and his fiancée wish to remain anonymous and I respect that as they do not want to add any upset to what is now happening in our lives. He told me about how nice Rafal was to him. We are making arrangements to get the voucher to him.

While Mr Skóra had tracked down the man, he never got to return the voucher to him.

He had picked up a fare outside Merrion Row, in the city centre on Friday evening and dropped the man at a Spar shop in Monkstown, nine kilometres away. It was only when Ralph had dropped the man, that he found a gift voucher belonging to him.

Mrs Skóra added: “Rafal really wanted this man and his fiancée to have the wedding voucher back and I’m so happy that this is now going to happen, thanks to all of the public’s help.

“At the moment I’m trying to deal with looking after our two children, 12-week-old Julianna and Benjamin who is three. Rafal also has a son in Poland called Jakub. Obviously, we are all numb and totally devastated by what has happened.

“Funeral arrangements are still being organised and we want to have a service which will show what a great man he was.”

The Dublin Taxi Drivers group has also paid tribute to Mr Skóra. A spokesperson said: “Dublin lost one of the most honest taxi drivers. He tried to go out of his way just to reunite the owner of the lost property (wedding voucher) he found in his car.

He got in touch with us on Friday night reporting that he found a bag with a €500 voucher in it. In a matter of hours, we were able to put him in touch with his passenger.

“The news of his death is absolutely heart wrenching for his wife, children and family. Our hearts and prayers go out to his loved ones. RIP Rafal.”

A fundraising campaign has been set-up for the family to cover funeral costs on the GoFundMe crowdfunding page. In less than 24 hours since being created, the campaign has received almost €10,000 in donations.

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