Christine Ryan, mother of Irish man Micheál Ryan killed in a plane crash in Ethiopia last March has said she would like her son to be remembered as a person who cared about humanity and who worked to better the lives of many people.
Speaking on RTÉ Radio’sshow from Frankfurt airport where she was en route to Ireland from Addis Ababa with his remains, she said he was coming home as “a UN hero” because of “all the lives he has saved.”
Mr Ryan was on board an Ethiopian Airlines flight that crashed shortly after take off on March 10 in Addis Ababa. There were no survivors after the Boeing 737, which was carrying 149 passengers and eight crew members, crashed.
Mrs Ryan said she and her son, Tiernan, flew to Ethiopia two days ago to bring Micheál's remains back to Ireland. The 39-year-old had worked as an engineer with the World Food Programme on projects in the developing world.
The family met representatives from the Ethopian government and the United Nations and were brought to see the casket yesterday, she said. “They are honouring him quite well.”
She said the experience had been emotionally draining, but it meant a great deal to her to be able to bring her son's remains home.
UN personnel and Government representatives were due to meet the family at Dublin Airport and the remains are to be brought back to Co Clare for a private burial later Tuesday. There had already been a public celebration of his life and the family wanted the burial to be private, she said.