25 March 2016 No Comments by The Northern Standard

 From Patsy McArdle in Brussels 

A Northern Standard news team, which included South Monaghan photographer Pat Byrne, and reporter Patsy McArdle, was at the centre of Tuesday’s bomb drama in Brussels, when an Aer Lingus plane on Flight EI360, which was on course to land in the bomb-targeted Zaventem Airport was alerted to the shocking runway turmoil, just minutes before the scheduled landing, and was diverted to Schiphol Airport near Amsterdam, thereby miraculously escaping the horrific ground chaos.

The Aer Lingus captain, and his co-pilot, as well as the entire flight staff, demonstrated a remarkable degree of calmness in face of the Brussels airport turmoil which came through on their radio-system. And the full compliment of passengers, which included upwards on 100 members of a delegation invited by Sinn Fein MEPs to a public ceremony in Brussels to mark the 100th anniversary of the 1916 Rising, remained fully at ease, despite the tragic scene unfolding below, which the aircraft and its passengers avoided by diversion, as it flew safely to Amsterdam.

The passengers included several members of local municipal district authorities from various parts of the country, all of whom were invited by the Sinn Fein MEPs to Brussels for the planned ceremony.

The Northern Standard was one of the newspapers invited by local MEP Matt Carthy, Carrickmacross.

Mr Carthy’s political advisor, Ms Rachel Coyle, who accompanied the group on the 6.40 am flight, ensured that everyone was facilitated in every way, in the aftermath of the concerns felt in the wake of the ….



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