The remains of the Piper Malibu aircraft which was carrying Premier League footballer, Emiliano Sala, has been found and the families of those presumed dead have been told.
The wreckage of the plane, which disappeared close to the Channel Islands on January 22nd was located on the seabed of the English Channel this morning.
Both pilot, David Ibbotson, and Emiliano Sala are missing and presumed dead.
The wreckage of the plane was found following a privately-funded operation, which was directed by Blue Waters Recoveries, on behalf of the Sala family.
Mr Mearns, director of Blue Waters Recoveries, led a team of seven other people during searched today. The UK Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB) also sent a team on the search.
The search was carried out "in close co-ordination" with the AAIB, and was planned to take three days, over an area of around four square nautical miles. It is unknown at present if further searches are required.
UPDATE 9:42 pm:
There has been an out-pour of support from heartbroken fans on social media this evening as the news of the wreckage being recovered breaks.
Tweets from heartbroken fans:
It is still unclear whether the bodies of David Ibbotson and Emiliano Sala have been recovered.
UPDATE 9.48 pm:
It is understood that early this morning, at around 9 am, in the early stages of the search, that the private marine search team saw something with their sonar equipment and that they carried out further passes over that area. After going through various stages of identification over the course of the day.
This evening, David Mearns, the man that led today's search, confirmed the search coordinators have positively identified the wreckage as that of the plane which had been carrying Sala and his pilot. Sala had just completed a £15-million transfer to Cardiff City from French club, Nantes.
Tweet from David Mearns:
More to follow as this story develops. Follow @DemocratOnline on Facebook for the latest updates.
News broke on Saturday morning (February 2nd), that Tom Costello, chairperson of the National Children’s Hospital Development Board, who was brought into the position six years ago, would be stepping down amid controversy over the rising costs of the National Children's Hospital.
In a statement on Saturday morning, he said he is concerned about the: "reputational damage that the ongoing commentary about the increased cost of the hospital is having on this critically important project" but also insisted that: "Every decision made by the board has been guided by what was deemed best for the project."
Yesterday, it was revealed an independent review by PWC into the spending over-run, which is coming in at a cost of €450,000 to tax-payers, will "stop short of determining culpability at the individual level".
Mr Costello said that he acted with “professionalism and integrity” in all his dealings with the project’s stakeholders, including Minister for Health Simon Harris and the Department of Health.
Health Minister, Simon Harris, has accepted Mr Costello’s resignation, and has thanked him for his service.
There has been a fire at the Shannon Key West Hotel in Rooskey. Gardaí from Carrick on Shannon Garda Station and local fire brigades were at the scene shortly after 8 pm last night (Thursday). Garda Superintendent Kevin English arrived at the scene shortly after 9 pm, and the scene was sealed off before 10 pm. It is understood that Gardai are investigating, and the suspected cause of the fire is arson. There are reports that an incendiary device was thrown into the property through a rare window. The scene remained closed until after lunch on Friday.
The sale of the hotel to a new owner was due to conclude on Monday, January 14th. James Kiernan is in the process of selling the property to Paradub Ltd. The purchasers have been endeavoring to buy the hotel since 2017. However, in recent months news has broken that the property has been offered to the Department of Justice for use as a direct provision centre by a company called Abbey Castle Accommodation Ltd, who have leased the property from Mr Kiernan. The future of the purchase of the hotel is now unknown.
There was a security guard on the property at the time of the attack, but no one was injured in the fire. Although the emergency services mobilised very quickly, it is understood that there has been fire damage to the bar and reception area of the property and extensive smoke damage though-out the building.
An anti-racism group has arranged to hold a protest at the hotel on Sunday afternoon. A number of locals have expressed dismay at their community being branded racists by some of the commentary in the national narrative. The attack has been universally condemned.
Follow The Democrat on Facebook: @DemocratOnline for updates on this developing story.
Video: Aftermath of mid-night raid, Strokestown.
A midnight-raid has taken place at a property outside Strokestown, Co Roscommon. The property, which consists of a house and farm, was taken into possession on the instructions of a financial institution on Tuesday of this week. It is unclear whether the eviction on Tuesday occurred as part of a repossession order or the appointment of a receiver. The incident was raised in the Dáil this week, and various videos have been circulating online in relation to the event.
At approximately 5 am on Sunday morning, the property was stormed by in excess of 70-people, who disembarked a number of vehicles before storming the house and farmyard.
The house has been occupied around the clock by private security contractors, who are believed to be from Northern Ireland since Tuesday, when the property was seized.
As part of the possession process, the family who are third-generation on the home farm, consisting of two elderly men (brothers) and their sister, were evicted. Videos of the eviction went viral on social media on Saturday evening, receiving over 150,000 views in a period of less than 6-hours, and growing. The video depicts several uniformed men dressed in black, one who identified himself as British, removing people from the property.
Sources tell the Democrat that 6 to 7 vehicles were burned out by the anti-eviction raiders. It is understood a chainsaw was used to cut down the front door and the property was stormed from the front and back, via doors and windows. It is also understood that one security-man released dogs on the raiders, but was subdued and reportedly told to leave and never “touch an elderly person in the 26-counties again”, and that the raiders knew who he was and that they would be back if the occupation of the property wasn’t ended. Reliable sources have indicated that the raiders informed the security guard that they knew his name and address before releasing him.
Sources tell the Democrat that no-one was seriously injured in the incident but significant damage was caused to vehicles, with several being burned and another seriously damaged. However, it is understood that Ambulances were called to the scene, and arrived at approximately 6 am. Gardaí are also at the scene.
When the raiders entered the property, many of the occupiers of the property ran-away up fields at the back of the property. It is understood that they didn’t return until the raiders left the scene. The Fire services arrived at the scene at approximately 5.40 am, before the fire could spread to the house. The entire yard was engulfed in flames, which were spreading to nearby hedges and trees when the fire services arrived.
More to follow as this story develops.
8:30 am: Gardaí have declared the area around the property a crime scene, and it is being sealed off for investigation.
11.30 am: It is understood that eight people were injured in this morning’s raid at a repossessed property near Strokestown, by anti-eviction raiders. Three of those injured required treatment at Sligo and Mullingar hospitals. Four vehicles were burned out and a dog was put-down due to it's injuries. Gardaí are investigating the incident.
Video credit: The Democrat
Pictures credit: The Democrat