Gardaí Send Officers To Assist At Air France Disaster

The Garda Commissioner Fachtna Murphy has announced that he will deploy two members of Garda to Brazil to support the authorities in the investigation and assist with the identification of bodies.

The commissioner made the announcement in response to "the tragic loss of the passengers and crew" of Air France flight AF 447, which included three Irish nationals. Commissioner Murphy said both officers, who are from the Garda Technical Bureau, are experienced in Disaster Victim Identification.

Speaking at the Garda College, the Garda Commissioner, Fachtna Murphy, extended his deepest sympathies to the Butler, Deasy and Walls families, whose daughters are believed to have died in the tragedy. He pledged to provide all assistance to the authorities in order to identify the victims of this tragedy.

The Garda Commissioner said: "My thoughts and sympathies have been with the families of Dr Aisling Butler, Dr Jane Deasy and Dr Eithne Walls, who were passengers on the Air France flight. My officers will travel to Rio de Janeiro in the coming days and use their experience and expertise to support the important task now underway in Brazil. One of these officers was involved in the investigation following the tsunami disaster in Thailand."

The Gardaí travelling to Rio de Janeiro will be Detective Inspector Joseph Kinsella and Detective Sergeant Jarlath Lennon. Detective Inspector Kinsella was previously deployed to Thailand following the tsunami, which occurred in December 2004, where he assisted in the international effort and liaised with the families of the missing Irish persons and helped to find and repatriate their relatives.

Detective Inspector Kinsella was instrumental in establishing a fingerprint database to assist in the identification of the victims also during the tsunami disaster.

The commissioner added that Garda Family Liaison Officers would continue to provide assistance to the families here in Ireland.


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