Fianna Fáil Leader, Micheál Martin has expressed his deepest sorrow following the tragic incident involving members of Rescue 116 of the Irish Coastguard last night off the coast of Mayo.

“This is an ultimate, yet tragic, example of public service, and my thoughts, and the thoughts of the entire Fianna Fáil organisation, are with the families of those who lost their lives or who are still missing.

“Captain Dara Fitzpatrick died in the service of the State; doing the job she loved. I want to express my deepest condolences to her family on their loss.

“This tragedy should remind us all that there are thousands of people putting their lives on the line every day on our behalf.

“99.9% of the time we don’t realise that members of the coastguard, nurses, fire officers, Gardaí and members of the Defence Forces are working to serve and protect our country.

“I hope that answers can be found quickly as to how this tragedy occurred and that the bodies of those who are still missing can be brought onshore to bring closure to their families.

“Ar Dheis Dé go raibh a hainm dhílis,” concluded Martin.