Emergency services honoured at Mass

THE emergency services who saved six of the 12 passengers of last Thursday’s fateful Manx2 flight, were given a spontaneous round of applause as they attended a Mass in memory of the victims yesterday.

The crews have already been the subject of repeated praise internationally for the speed with which they reached the stricken plane off the Cork Airport runway, got the engine fire under control, removed the survivors from the wreckage and administered medical aid.

At Mass at the Church of the Assumption in Ballyphehane in Cork city, held in remembrance of those who perished, the congregation once again honoured the emergency services by bursting into applause as they walked down the aisle.

The Bishop of Cork and Ross, Dr John Buckley said it was difficult to come to terms with a tragedy such as the one that occurred at the airport.

He said life was often mysterious and that seldom is an easy answer found in relation to sudden deaths in accidents.

Parish priest, Fr Michael Murphy, who performed the last rites on the deceased at the airport last Thursday thanked Cathy Goode, a representative of the Spanish embassy, from the altar saying she had been of immense help to the family of the late pilot, Jordi Gola Lopez, over the last few days.

Earlier in the day, Church of Ireland Bishop of Cork Paul Colton led an early morning service at the tiny chapel of Christ the Healer at Cork University Hospital (CUH).

“Physically, to nearly all of us, from wherever we go in the city it (the airport) is nearby,” he said.

“In recent days we have all heard stories of people who used it frequently or regularly. Thursday’s crash, therefore, deep down has made us all feel vulnerable.”

Bishop Colton added at times like this we come to realise that much of our living is in a mist.

“Life’s big questions — the ‘why’s’ of life are ones for which we struggle to find answers. In truth, for many of our great questions, we can’t find the right words. But that struggling, tearful place is the very place where we are promised God is, even though we think we have been abandoned.”

During the course of the intimate service CUH Chaplin Daniel Nuzum lit 12 candles representing all of the passengers on the ill-fated Belfast to Cork flight.

The funerals of two of the Northern Ireland victims of the crash are to be held today.

Pat Cullinan, a partner with international accountancy firm KPMG, is to be buried after Requiem Mass at noon today in St Patrick’s church in Crannagh, near Plumbridge in Co Tyrone.

The funeral of Brendan McAleese, general manager of a hygiene services business, is to take place at 1pm at St MacNissus church in Tannaghmore Co Antrim. Mr McAleese was a first cousin of President Mary McAleese’s husband, Martin.

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