Helicopter Crash kills four

The AgustaWestland AW139 crashed in Norfolk. Photo: jbarcena

Northern Ireland’s Richest man dies in Crash


Northern Irish peer and businessman Lord Ballyedmond, 70, was one of four men killed in a helicopter crash in Norfolk.

The helicopter – an AgustaWestland AW139 – crashed in a Gillingham wood, near the Suffolk town of Beccles. It’s still unclear whether fog was a factor in the crash.

The crash happened close to Gillingham Hall – one of the homes owned by Lord Ballyedmond, the richest man in Northern Ireland with an estimated fortune of £500m.

An AgustaWestland spokesman said it was investigating the case.

Reportedly, Lord Ballyedmond was in the middle of taking legal action against the firm in relation to possible safety defects with the helicopter.

As well as being in the in pharmaceutical and chemical manufacturing businesses, Lord Ballyedmond also ran an air travel business, Haughey Air.

NI Enterprise, Trade and Investment Minister, Arlene Foster MLA said: “Lord Ballyedmond was one of NI’s most successful entrepreneurs, known for his leadership, integrity and global vision.”

Sinn Fein’s Conor Murphy, MP for Newry and Armagh, told David Blevins he was “very, very saddened” by the fatal crash.

He said: “It’s a huge tragedy for all of the families involved and it’s something that, I think, will shock the workforce here (at Norbrook Laboratories) particularly the very substantial workforce that Eddie Haughey had in the Newry area.

“He certainly was a very strong-willed character. He established from nothing a very successful business.”

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