2. Deputy Aengus Ó Snodaigh asked the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence if the Air Corps was requested to provide top cover for Coast Guard helicopter Rescue 116 during its ill-fated mission off the County Mayo coast; if its inability to assist in the search-and-recovery mission was directly attributable to cuts which have reduced the number of air traffic controllers and other experienced personnel to the point that the Air Corps can no longer operate on a 24-hour basis; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 15539/17 asked on 29 Mar 2017 - Air Corps Strength)

Deputy Aengus Ó Snodaigh: I want to express my sincere sympathies to the family and friends of the crew the Irish Coast Guard helicopter, R116, Dara Fitzpatrick, Mark Duffy, Ciarán Smith and Paul Ormsby. Guím suaimhneas síoraí orthu.
Was the Air Corps requested to provide top cover for Coast Guard helicopter Rescue 116 during its ill-fated rescue mission off the County Mayo coast which led to the deaths of the four brave responders? Was the Air Corps inability to assist in the search and recov...