When I opened Aisling’s email up, a nightmare opened up as well, says father

AISLING BUTLER’S father John said his daughter was “a truly wonderful, exciting girl. She never flunked an exam in her life – nailed every one of them – and took it all in her stride as well.”

He initially thought Aisling was booked on Monday’s flight and had to retrieve her itinerary from his deleted e-mails to check.

“When I opened it up, a nightmare opened up as well,” he said.

The family have made a plea for privacy as they said they were “merely trying to come to terms with this shocking news”.

A statement issued through a family solicitor said:“Aisling was very talented and a high achiever with a very promising career.

“She was also full of fun, caring and kind, a devoted daughter and sister.”

The statement added: “At this stage the family are merely trying to come to terms with this shocking news.”

The family also asked for their privacy to be respected.

Hundreds called to the Butler home at Ballinakill, about two miles from Roscrea, yesterday to sympathise with the family.

This is where John and Evelyn, nee Troy, brought up their two daughters Aisling 26 and Lorna 28.

John also built a thriving transport company there employing up to 60 people.

He named it Adare Transport after his native village.

He and Evelyn met when John was in the Garda attached to the traffic corps in North Tipperary.

They idolised their two daughters, one a doctor, and the older one who works as an executive with a shipping company in Dublin.

Denis Ryan has been a close friend for years.

A local Fine Gael county councillor, he called to the house on Monday after hearing the news.

He said: “Their two girls would be roughly the same age as my own two daughters, Padrena and Denise, and they went to school together in the local Sacred Heart primary and palled around together.”

Aisling went as a boarder to the Ursuline convent in Thurles where she excelled academically.

He said: “She was a brilliant student and exams came very easy to her, but she worked hard. As well as the great loss she will be to her family she will also be a great loss to medicine and patients, and whatever hospitals she would have gone on to work in.”

Aisling had just finished her internship at Tallaght hospital, having qualified as a doctor in Trinity College. She was looking forward to taking up a new post at St James Hospital on her return from the holiday in Brazil.

Ms Butler, who graduated in 2007, also worked in hospitals in Limerick and Portlaoise.

Mr Ryan said: “The mood in Roscrea is one of great sadness and very sombre. We all hope and pray that some closure can come and that the body is found and brought home for burial.

“There has been a flow of people all day to the house. Our hearts and prayers are with the family at this very difficult time.

“My family have been out to visit the family and our thoughts are also with Aisling’s grandmother, Violet Troy.”

Local parish priest, Fr Tom Corbett said Mass yesterday morning for Aisling and her family.

He said who would have thought that an item of news about a plane crash in the Atlantic would hit the community in Roscrea.

He said: “We are all hoping that the body will eventually be found.

“It is a time of great shock for the parish as the family were well known. There is a profound sense of shock, dismay and anguish here in the parish.”

Many went quietly during the day to St Cronan’s parish church to light a candle.

Retired Nenagh public , Patrick Bourke, 87, travelled over with a friend to pray.

He said: “When I come over here I always drop into the church to light candles. I lit one for the doctor who was lost in the plane crash.”

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