Air India disaster commemorated in Cork - 35 years on

Air India disaster commemorated in Cork - 35 years on

A SPECIAL commemoration was held in Cork today to mark the anniversary of the 1985 Air India disaster.

Wreaths were laid at the memorial garden near Ahakista on the Sheep's Head Peninsula in West Cork, in memory of the 329 people who died after a bomb exploded on an Air India flight just 120 miles off Ireland's south-west coast.

Previous commemorations have seen the families of those who died on Flight 182 attend, but due to current travel restrictions, no such tribute was possible.

Cork County Council Mayor, Ian Doyle insisted that despite the families not being able to come, the vital ceremony will continue as always.

AHAKISTA, IRELAND: Irish President Mary McAleese lays a wreath at the Memorial to commemorate the 20th Anniversary of the Air India disaster 23 June 2005 in Ahakista, Cork, Ireland. Canadian Prime Minister Paul Martin and Irish President Mary McAleese joined victims' families at an emotional ceremony 23 June in the southwest of Ireland to mark the 20th anniversary of the Air India Flight 182 bombing. All 329 people on board the plane were killed when it blew up over the Atlantic Ocean on June 23, 1985, in the worst-ever mid-air terrorist attack. Only 131 bodies were recovered. A third of them were under 17. AFP PHOTO/NEWSFILE/FRAN CAFFREY -- IRELAND OUT -- (Photo credit should read FRAN CAFFREY/AFP via Getty Images)

"The warmth and the gratitude they were getting from them but also obviously the sorrow," he said.

"As you know we have the memorial garden down in Ahakista in West Cork that we set up and we maintain and that we've promised to maintain. This year the families are having a virtual remembrance day.

"As Cork County Council laid a wreath at the memorial, we are also laying a wreath on behalf of the Canadian government and the families of the Air India disaster and the Indian government asked us to lay a wreath as unfortunately, they couldn't be here at this time."

Irish sailors unload on June 29, 1985 at a navy base in Cork, debris from the Air India Flight 182 that crashed off the coast of Ireland on June 23. The Boeing 747 was blown up by a bomb at an altitude of 31,000 feet (9400 metres), killing 329 people. AFP PHOTO ANDRE DURAND (Photo credit should read ANDRE DURAND/AFP via Getty Images)

The jet was heading from Montreal, Canada to New Delhi, India. Everyone on board, including 280 Canadian, 27 British and 22 Indian citizens perished.

The bombing of Air India Flight 182 is the largest mass killing in Canadian history, the deadliest aviation accident in the history of Air India and was the deadliest act of aviation terrorism until the September 11 attacks in 2001.