THE WIDOWED wife of Ethiopian Airlines victim and Irishman Michael 'Mick' Ryan has opened up about the “heartbreaking” moment she broke the news to her eldest daughter.
The IRISH father-of-two was among the 157 people who died when an Ethiopian Airlines Boeing 737 crashed on Sunday March 10th.
Flight ET 302 from Addis Abada to Nairobi crashed at 08:44 local time (06:44 Irish time), just six minutes after take-off, killing all 149 passengers and eight flight staff onboard.
The crash was later attributed to a fatal design flaw in the Boeing 737.
Mick worked for the UN World Food Programme and travelling to Nairobi for a conference along with 18 other co-workers. He was 39.
Naoise Ryan told the Irish Mirror how she broke the news to her four-year-old daughter Saoria with the help of Michael’s grieving mum Christine.
“It’s impossible to put words on it.,” she said.
“Both Chris and I felt she knew something was wrong. On the day she had this way about her that she was talking about her daddy all day.
“We both attempted to tell her and she would talk over us.
“Towards the end of that week, I sat down with her and I told her daddy wouldn’t be coming back.
“She screamed and ran out of the room, it was the most heartbreaking thing that I’ve ever had to do in my life.”
Without a body to bury, the family are awaiting the results of DNA sampling at the crash site before conducting a proper funeral for the popular Irishman.
The devastating crash was attributed to a faulty sensor, which wrongly triggered Manoeuvring Characteristics Augmentation System(MCAS) Boeing 737 Max without the pilot’s knowledge.
A relatively new piece of software, the MCAS uses sensors in the nose of the aircraft to assess whether the plane is climbing at too steep an angle – an action that can cause it to stall – and adjusts accordingly.
In this case, the malfunctioned sensor repeatedly forced the plane’s nose down, resulting in the fatal crash.