Funeral of ‘beloved son’ killed in air crash to take place in Athy

Funeral of John Finnan due at St Michael’s Parish Church at midday on Wednesday

A Co Kildare man who died in an air crash in Co Wexford over the weekend will be "sadly missed", his family has said.

John Finnan (58), from Athy, and his flying partner Peter Tawse (61), from New Ross, died when their light aircraft came down near Duncormick, 15 minutes after they took flight on Sunday.

The Air Accident Investigation Unit and the Irish Aviation Authority are examining the circumstances of the deaths.

The funeral of Mr Finnan will take place at St Michael’s Parish Church, Athy, at midday on Wednesday, followed by burial at St Michael’s cemetery.


A notice on states Mr Finnan was a “beloved son, brother, brother-in-law, uncle and friend”.

“Sadly missed by his loving parents John and Claire, his sisters Emer, Ciara and Mary, his brothers-in-law Eoin, Ken and Steven, his nephews Alastair, Jack, Archie, Joshua and Toby, his niece Hannah, relatives and many friends,” it says.

Mr Tawse grew up in England and came to Ireland in the 1980s. He moved to Co Wexford and worked in Wexford Flying Club as an instructor before continuing the role in Waterford.

In 1982, Mr Tawse began teaching people to how to fly aircraft, amassing more than 7,000 hours of flying experience as of 2016.

He became widely known through his role as manager of Waterford Regional Airport from 1987 to 2003. The airport had opened in 1981 and he helped to develop its services, including parcel routes.

Subsequent to Waterford airport, Mr Tawse was chief flying instructor at a flying club in Taghmon, Co Wexford.

He was also a classroom instructor and worked across the region at second and third levels.

Mr Tawse is survived by his wife, Kay Furlong, his mother and two sisters.

Sarah Burns

Sarah Burns

Sarah Burns is a reporter for The Irish Times