Funerals held for local victims of helicopter crash

March 24, 2014

The first of the funerals of the two local men killed in a helicopter crash in Norfolk on March 13th was held yesterday (Sunday). Declan Small (42) was laid to rest in his hometown of Mayobridge following 1.00pm Requiem Mass in St. Patrick’s Church.  Hundreds turned out to pay their respects to the popular tradesman who died alongside his employer, Dr. Edward Haughey, eleven days ago.

The funeral of Dr Haughey is set to take place today (Monday) with Requiem Mass at 11.30am in Newry Cathedral, followed by interment in St. Brigid’s cemetery, Kilcurry, Co. Louth.

Mr Small worked as a site foreman for Dr. Haughey (70) – also known as Lord Ballyedmond – the owner of leading veterinary pharmaceutical firm, Norbrook Laboratories in Newry.

The men were returning home on the evening of Thursday March 13th when the helicopter in which they were travelling crashed shortly after it took off from Gillingham Hall, a stately home owned by Lord Ballyedmond.  The pair, along with pilots Carl Dickerson and Lee Hoyle, were killed instantly.

The accident happened in thick fog though the cause of the crash is under investigation by the Air Accident Authority, whose findings are expected to take up to twelve months to complete.

An inquest into the deaths of the four men opened and adjourned in Norwich on Thursday.  It found that the victims sustained head and chest injuries and died instantly when the aircraft crashed into a field.

The bodies of the two men were returned to their families late on Friday evening.