RESCUE 116 HEROES SALUTED IN MEMORABLE COOTEHILL CONCERT

1 September 2017 No Comments by The Northern Standard

By MICHAEL McDONNELL michael@northern-standard.ie

THE MOVING MEMORIAL concert held in honour of the heroes of the Rescue 116 Coast Guard helicopter who lost their lives off the coast of Mayo last March was the standout highlight in a weeklong series of memorable events that made this year’s return of Cootehill Arts Festival the major crowd-pulling winner it was. Being the home town of senior pilot Captain Dara Fitzpatrick’s family, it was appropriate that Cootehill should host this stunning tribute, and many of the 45-year-old’s locally based family members were in attendance at the emotionally charged event.

Compèred by Ray D’Arcy, it featured a helicopter flyover as well as messages from Prince William, President Higgins and performances from some top names including folk/contemporary music sensation Declan O’Rouke. A particularly poignant and time-stopping moment occurred when the whirr from the lowflying Irish Coast Guard helicopter filled the arena even as the last rousing strains of ‘Amazing Grace’ by the Roscommon Solstice…

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