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Man killed in light aircraft crash in Kilkenny named locally

An Air Accident Investigations Unit has been sent to the scene.

Updated Jun 29th 2019, 6:46 PM

A POST MORTEM examination is to be carried out on the body of a man who died when the light aircraft he was piloting crashed at the back of his home in Co Kilkenny.

The accident occurred around 9pm last night at an area known as Gowran Cross, in Co Kilkenny which is located around 8km from Kilkenny city.

The man has been named locally as Dick O’Connell. 

It is understood the father-of-three was on his way to attend his daughter’s 18th birthday party when the glider he was piloting crash landed.

There was no-one else in the aircraft at the time of the fatal crash.

The glider crashed close to the back of his house where the birthday party was being held. 

Mr O’Connell, who was in his 50s was taken to St Luke’s General Hospital in Kilkenny city. A post mortem examination will take place at University Hospital Waterford.

Gardaí from Thomastown and Kilkenny city along with fire units and several ambulances remained at the scene for several hours.

Officers spoke with many of the guests at the house who had witnessed the crash. 

A local woman who knew Mr O’Connell said: “He was a very respected man who was known around the county for his skills as a builder, who worked a lot with stone.

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“He was very talented and so many people will be so shocked over what has happened and upset for his family. To witness a crash like that at a birthday party is absolutely horrific.”

The Air Accident Investigations Unit (AAIU) were advised by gardaí of the incident and have sent a team of experts to the crash site.

The light aircraft remains at the scene to allow for technical examination by AAIU engineers, specialists and gardaí.

Gardaí are appealing for anyone who may have witnessed the crash or came on the scene in the moments afterwards to contact them on 056-7775000.

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