THE United Nations aid worker Michael Ryan, who died tragically in the Ethiopian Airline Boeing 737 Max 8 jet crash, was remember by colleagues in Bantry this week, where he had spent almost a year working on the harbour project.
Michael Murphy, assistant harbourmaster in Bantry, told The Southern Star: ‘Michael worked with us as a resident engineer on the Bantry Inner Harbour Development project from July 4th 2016 to June 21st 2017.’
During that time, he said Michael impressed people as being ‘a very dynamic, intelligent and capable young man. He was very humble with it, and it was a pleasure for everyone in the Port of Cork company and the Bantry Bay Port Company to work with him on this project.’
The project ultimately led to an investment of €8.5m in the new marina.
Mr Murphy confirmed that the capable and affable 39-year-old engineer – who was originally from Clare but was living on Pope’s Quay in Cork city with his wife, Naoise, and their two young children – left Bantry, on promotion, to take up his position as a United Nations aid worker.
Mr Murphy praised Michael for the outstanding and fearless work he did with the World Food Project for the World Health Organisation, as its chief resident engineer.
There were no survivors among the 149 passengers and eight crew on the Ethiopian Airlines flight that crashed shortly after take-off on Sunday.
There was another Bantry link on the doomed Ethiopian fight. One of the victims, Sarah Auffret, had travelled to Iceland with Goleen maritime lawyer, Michael Kingston, last June to speak at a plastics conference.
‘She was a lovely, kind, friendly, and diligent person. I have a wonderful memory of her warmth and friendliness. It was clear that she was dedicated to the work she was doing, and to making the world a better place,’ said Michael.
French-British citizen Sarah was a member of the Association Arctic Expedition Cruise Operators and was due to speak at another conference on the environment and plastics in the oceans, in Nairobi this week.
Meanwhile airline Norwegian has temporarily suspended all flights using the Boeing 737 MAX and will temporarily deploy a Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner to operate US flights from Dublin to support affected customers.
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