Inquest opened into death of Irish family-of-five in helicopter crash in Wales

Inquest opened into death of Irish family-of-five in helicopter crash in Wales

AN INQUEST into the deaths of five Irish family members in a helicopter crash in Wales has been opened and adjourned.

Three brothers and two of their wives died in the crash in mountains in Snowdonia earlier this year.

Those killed were Kevin and Ruth Burke, aged 56 and 49, Donald and Sharon Burke aged 55 and 48, and Barry Burke, 51.

Kevin, Donald and Barry were the three sons of Irishman Donal Burke who moved from Mayo to Britain some years ago, and Noeleen, who is originally from Dublin.

On March 29, the five were travelling from their home in Milton Keynes to Weston Airport to attend a family function in Ireland.


When their privately-owned Twin Squirrel aircraft failed to arrive in Dublin a large search operation was launched.

Their bodies were later found along with the wreckage of the helicopter in the remote Rhinog Mountains near Trawsfynydd, north Wales.

Six children lost one or more of their parents in the tragedy.

The inquest into the deaths at Caernarfon Coroner’s Court was adjourned until the Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB) has conducted its investigation into the cause of the crash.

The final report will take up to a year to complete.

Back in April, the child of one of the couples killed in the crash released an emotional statement paying tribute to her parents, as well as her uncles and aunts who also died.

Olivia Burke, the daughter of Donald and Sharon Burke, said: “Our family has changed within the space of a day.


“They were taken far too soon and it’s hard for us to understand why such a tragedy would happen to the best type of people, who were so selfless and genuine to everyone they met.

“They embodied every attribute of an amazing parent, sibling, child and friend,” she added. “That will never be forgotten and will only make us aspire to do them proud.”