RESCUE 116 coast guard Ciaran Smith will be remembered at a memorial mass in Oldtown this Saturday.
A service at the parish church at 3pm is expected to draw huge crowds and plans for traffic management and an outside speaker are already in place.
Wild Geese GAA Club will form a guard of honour outside as his wife, Martina, and their three young children join the local community and colleagues to celebrate his life.
Ciaran and his fellow winch crew mate Paul Ormsby, from Ballyfermot, have been missing since their helicopter went down off the Mayo coast on March 15.
A charity cycle is also planned by Dublin Airport police and fire service on June 11 which will cover 116km and raise money for the R116 fund.
Organiser Bryan Russell told The Gazette: “We wanted to do something to show our respect.”
The cycle started out as a fundraiser but now members of Ciaran’s family and those of the other three coast guard crew have expressed an interest in taking part.
Pilot Captain Dara Fitzpatrick and co-pilot Mark Duffy have both been recovered from the sea and laid to rest, but neither Paul nor 37-year-old Ciaran’s body was found, despite extensive co-ordinated searches.
Bryan said: “One or two family members have asked can they do every single lap. We’re getting calls from Waterford fire service, GAA clubs all over the country – you name it.
“Because we’re based at the airport, we would see the rescue helicopter flying overhead all the time and we felt helpless because we couldn’t go up and help with the search.
Support for families
“This is just our way of remembering the crew and families and what they’re going through.”
Former Dublin GAA player Paul Clarke is co-organiser of the event. He shared a keen interest in cycling with Ciaran and the pair took part in many fundraisers together.
Bryan said: “Ciaran was big into cycling and his father-in-law used to work in the airport police and fire service. We all would have interacted with them. They were the real heroes, going out to places you wouldn’t put a cat out in – dreadful conditions.
“I’ve no idea what their families are going through, but if we can do any little thing to help in any small way, we want to do it.”
Funds will go towards the rescue helicopter base. To donate, visit www.gofundme.com/dublin-apfs-r116-charity-cycle.