On the 7th September 1983 a Cessna 182 left Birmingham for Kilkenny with 4 people on board. Unfortunately the plane crashed near the summit of Blackstairs Mountain resulting in the death of 3 men and 1 woman.
Chris Forrestal of Rathnure was one of four people who had gone up in the middle of the night and found the crashed plane and established that all four occupants were dead.
Several agencies Gardai, Civil Defence, Ambulance Service, Mountain Rescue and locals helped to remove the bodies.
A cross was erected by Eric Binions Ballycrystal to commemorate the 4 people but over the years the cross became eroded and eventually fell down. In 2005 the late Paddy Looney of The Tullow Mountaineering Club decided to replace the cross. Michael Monahan met with Eric who had no objection to the Club replacing it.
Through the good offices of several individuals and organisations a cross was made. It was carried to the summit of Blackstairs Mountain by Michael Monahan and the late Paddy Looney.
Quote for Michael Monahan "Eventually I collected the cross and brought it to the Carrigalacan Gap. It was heavy and I felt quite biblical as I staggered up to Caher Roes Den. I left it there for Paddy to bring it the rest of the way at a later date. and was fairly confident that it would not be stolen in the meantime."
The pictures supplied are the late Paddy Looney's from the 20th July 2005. On a Club Wednesday evening walk, sand and cement was carried up by Club members from the Scullogue Gap to erect the Cross. Some members were able to carry a bag themselves while others shared the carrying of a bag. The evening turned wet and misty as the pictures show. Some of the pictures show the new cross tied to the old cross before it was finally erected. According to Club members sand was carried on a 2nd occasion. On a later day Paddy and Micheal Brennan mixed the cement and erected the cross where it stands to this day.
There were 2 other aircraft crashes on Blackstairs Mountain in 1941 and 2015
The following piece is taken from a Facebook post by EastWest Mapping on Facebook
"German Heinkel air crash on Blackstairs Mountain 1941
The main photo here is taken just below the top of Sturra or Blackstairs Mountain. We're having a break in the remains of the bomb craters left after a German Heinkel HE 111 Luftwaffe bomber crashed here on the 11th October 1941 during 'The Emergency'. It had taken off earlier from France to attack shipping on the Irish Sea and was heard crashing about midnight on the above date. There seems to be two varying accounts - first that the RAF went in pursuit and shot it down over Ireland and second that it just got lost and accidentally flew into the east slope of the above mountain. However weather reports suggest conditions were clear with just a light haze, so take your pick.
Either way, the four German airmen who died were Kurt Tiggemann, Wilhelm Böhmer, Ehrfried Kolwe, and Hans Szuflita. The men were first buried nearby in Rathnure and then later moved in the 1960s to the German War Cemetery in Glencree, pictured here. This featured in our last post, as the mass rock lies just above. You'll find a report here http://knightsandrebels.wordpress.com/…/death-on-a-saturda…/
The Irish army attended the crash site and I've heard that they exploded the bombs on the hillside, leaving these craters. Part of the undercarriage and wheel are on display in Enniscorthy museum.
The site is accurately marked on our Blackstairs, Mount Leinster & the Barrow Valley 1:25,000 scale map."
Cessna Crash 2015 on the western side of Blackstairs Mountain
Two men died when their light aircraft crashed into Blackstairs mountain after entering an area of low visibility, an Air Accident Investigation Unit report has found.
Paul Smith (57) and Bryan Keane (69) departed Athboy airfield, Co Meath, at 10am on May 24th, 2015. The two, who were also travelling with their two pet dogs, were en route to an airfield near Taghmon, Co Wexford, to attend a “breakfast fly-in” event.
The men, as well as their two dogs were fatally injured about half an hour later when the Cessna T182T failed to clear high terrain on the Co Carlow mountain.
A hill walker came across the wreckage at approximately 13.40hrs and contacted the Emergency Services.
The bodies of the 2 men were removed by Rescue 117, the Coast Guard Helicopter based in Waterford and the bodies of the 2 dogs by the South Eastern Mountain Rescue Association.
Air Accident Investigation Unit link to 2015 accident