The widow of a taxi driver who died in a paragliding incident on Saturday says she wants to ensure a wedding voucher left in his car is returned to its owners.
Rafal 'Ralph' Skóra (41), a paragliding enthusiast originally from Poland but living in Artane in Dublin, went out of his way to make contact with the owners of the voucher, which was mislaid in his taxi on Friday night.
However, Mr Skóra, an experienced glider, took off from Black Hill above Blessington Lakes on Saturday and was last seen heading south over the Wicklow Mountains and Glenmalure. His wife Dominika raised the alarm on Saturday night when he failed to return home.
Mr Skóra’s body was found at 8am on Sunday by a group who were working with the Wicklow Mountain Rescue and the Irish Coast Guard.
The taxi driver, a father of three, had on Friday evening picked up a male passenger at Merrion Row in Dublin who he later dropped in Monkstown. Mr Skóra later found a gift voucher belonging to the passenger. He made a social media post about finding the voucher in an attempt to find the owner. The post was shared by more than 20,000 people, some of whom praised his honesty and kindness, and he eventually made contact with the man and his future spouse.
“He was very happy to find them and before he left the house on Saturday morning,” Mrs Skóra said. “He said that because he did something good and found them, karma will get back to him with something good as well...He was sure he would have a lovely day and fly 100 km.”
Mrs Skóra said the voucher was still in her possession and appealed to the couple to make contact so she can return it to them. She said the couple should not feel they are imposing on her by getting in contact after the accident.
“Rafal really wanted them to have it back because finding them made him so happy,” she said. “I have no contact details for the couple so I would be so grateful if they got in touch with me. It was Rafal’s wish to return the voucher to them and I want that to happen.”
Mrs Skóra said Rafal would be missed by his 21-year-old son Jakub, who lives in Poland.
“I will make sure that my children with Rafal, Benjamin who is three-years-old and 12-weeks-old Julianna, will know everything there is to about their father,” she said. “He was the best husband I could pray for and amazing father. That’s all what matters. I will never forget him. I’ll hope to see him in my dreams”.
More than €3,600 had on Monday been raised through a GoFundMe page which was set up to cover the costs of Mr Skóra's funeral.
Philip Lardner, training and safety officer with the Irish Hang Gliding and Paragliding Association (IHPA), said paragliding is a "fairly challenging sport" in Ireland because of the weather conditions. He said spring and summer months, in particular April and May, provide good flying conditions.
“We don’t always get ideal conditions to fly. We either have a lot of wind or a lot of rain and the window of opportunity that we experience here in Ireland is really limited,” he said.
“But we do have a very active flying community of paragliders and hand gliders in this country with around 150 plus active members.”