21 June 2020
By Elaine Murphy
Mayor of the County of Cork Cllr Ian Doyle will participate in a YouTube remembrance ceremony for the victims of Air India Flight 182 and Narita International Airport bombings, following an invitation from families of the victims of the 1985 terrorist attack.
Mayor Doyle will join Ambassador of India to Ireland, Mr Sandeep Kumar and Chargée d’Affaires of Canadian Embassy to Canadian citizens living in Ireland, Ms. Sabine Nolke, in commemorating the event alongside Mrs. Padmini Turlapti, who will speak on behalf of the families.
A Commemoration event is held annually at a memorial garden near Ahakista County Cork, which is attended by family and friends of those who lost their lives on Flight 182 in 1985. Due to the current travel restrictions, the families have decided to deliver the remembrance event through a YouTube Video which will be released on the day of the anniversary, Tuesday June 23rd after 9am UTC (10am Irish Time) and will be hosted on the channel ‘Air India Memorial’, set up by the Air India Victims’ Families Association at https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCN6jttcCqiQMGeTCzt_E4wg.
The commemoration video will include a recording of a prayer by Canon Paul Willoughby, Church of Ireland and a Catholic reading from a member of the laity. Ahakista National School will also submit a musical recording.
The families have asked Cork County Council to lay a wreath on their behalf in advance of the anniversary and record doing so for inclusion in the video.
The Canadian Embassy and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police have requested that the Council lay a wreath on behalf of the Government of Canada. Mayor Doyle requested the same on his behalf and that of the people of Cork County. A wreath will also be laid on behalf of the Government of India and on behalf of the families of the 331 victims of the attacks.
Mayor of the County of Cork, Cllr. Ian Doyle commented,
“It is deeply saddening that the families of those who were so tragically killed on this day 35 years ago cannot visit the memorial in Ahakista to mourn their loved ones. The bereavement and the suffering caused that day and the senseless loss of so many is impossible to fathom. While nothing can remedy that loss, we acknowledge it and carry it together as a community. The current travel restrictions to prevent the spread of COVID-19 mean that it is not possible for the families to travel to West Cork for the annual commemoration and celebration of their dead, so the families have decided to gather instead in a virtual space for the 2020 event. As Mayor of the County of Cork I am honoured on behalf of the people of County Cork to be a part of this remembrance tradition.”
Cork County Council has maintained a close connection with the families of the victims and has participated in and supported the annual remembrance gathering. For many years the annual remembrance has been held in the memorial garden which was developed to provide the families with a peaceful place to remember their loved ones. The Council is committed to maintaining this garden which is dedicated to all those who died on the Air India flight 182 on 23rd June 1985 and has over the years has become a cherished place for the families to visit and to remember their loved ones.