Sunny

Sunny

max temp: 9°C

min temp: 2°C

ESTD 1874 Search

Update: Three men who were travelling with peer in Gillingham helicopter named in reports

15:10 14 March 2014

Edward Haughey

Edward Haughey

Archant

Three men who were killed in a helicopter crash in Gillingham, near Beccles, have been named.

shares
Aerial view of Gillingham HallAerial view of Gillingham Hall

According to reports the three men travelling with Northern Ireland peer Lord Ballyedmond were Carl Dickerson, Lee Hoyle and Declan Small.

Tributes have been paid to Lord Ballyedmond since his death was confirmed this morning.

The peer, also known as Dr Edward Haughey, 70, was chairman of Norbrook, the largest privately-owned pharmaceutical company in the world.

He was killed along with three other people - two pilots and a man from Mayobridge in County Down - when a helicopter came down in thick fog in a field in Gillingham, near Beccles, at 7.30pm.

According to the Register of Lords’ interests, Lord Ballyedmond owned Gillingham Hall, a stately home near the crash site. The register also states that he was a controlling shareholder of Haughey Airports Limited, an airport operator, and Haughey Air Limited, an airport transport company.

A life peer with a seat in the House of Lords, first on behalf of the Ulster Unionist Party before switching to the Conservative Party, he also owned Ballyedmond Castle in Rosstrevor, Co Down, and Corby Castle in Cumbria, as well as a property in Belgrave Square, London.

His wealth was estimated to be in excess of £400 million, making him one of the wealthiest men in Ireland.

Karen McKevitt, a Northern Ireland Assembly Member representing South Down, paid tribute to the pharmaceuticals entrepreneur and politician.

She said: “It is feared that there are other casualties from the South Down area.

“It is very, very shocking news for everyone here. Edward Haughey is the biggest employer in the area, he has done a tremendous amount of work for local charities and schools, and is very, very well known.

“It is his employees who have the greatest respect for him in the area.

“The whole of Northern Ireland will be devastated by this news. It is very raw.

“I do know that the Police Service of Northern Ireland have been contacted but we haven’t been given any details.”

The man who died with him was named locally as Declan Small, 42, a foreman who worked for Lord Ballyedmond. He came from Mayobridge, Co Down.

Lord Ballyedmond was born in 1944 in Dundalk, Co Louth, and began his pharmaceutical career in the US in the 1960s selling animal drugs.

He returned to Newry in Co Down to set up his own business and founded Norbrook more than 40 years ago.

The company proved to be a highly innovative business and increased its margins by making many of the raw ingredients used in its medicines.

He expanded into Africa and is reportedly one of the largest veterinarian suppliers on the continent.

Two of his companies, Norbrook Laboratories and Norbrook Holdings, employ 1,300 people worldwide, 1,000 of them in Northern Ireland.

He also owned an air travel business, and at one stage the lease of Carlisle Airport in Cumbria, which he sold in 2008.

Apart from Northern Ireland and London, he had a house in Dublin’s expensive Fitzwilliam Square, close to the city centre, owned two islands on Lake Victoria in Uganda, and was a collector of rare plants and trees.

In July 2008 he was made an honorary doctor of science by the University of Ulster.

He was married with two sons and a daughter. He was made a life peer as Baron Ballyedmond of Mourne.

Stormont enterprise minister Arlene Foster said: “Without doubt, Lord Ballyedmond was one of Northern Ireland’s most successful entrepreneurs, and he was known for his leadership, integrity and global vision.

“One-of-a-kind and a self-made businessman, he was both highly regarded and widely respected by all those who knew him.

“Norbrook Laboratories currently exports to more than 120 countries worldwide and Lord Ballyedmond worked tirelessly to promote Northern Ireland as an investment location.

“Not only has he made a huge contribution to the local economy but Lord Ballyedmond also devoted much of his time to charitable works and this is to be highly commended.”

Asked about reports that Lord Ballyedmond was taking legal action against AgustaWestland in relation to possible safety defects with his AW139 VIP helicopter, a spokesman for the company said it was investigating the case.

Speaking from the company’s office in Italy, he said: “We cannot comment now because we need to make internal checks to establish exactly what the situation is.

“We cannot yet comment on this accident because there is an investigation pending and there could be many causes, be them technical or due to human error.

“Obviously we are very much regretful of what happened and will support the ongoing investigation in any possible way.”

shares

0 comments

Jean Sarah with her son, Charlie

A cancer patient faces a race against time to raise money for surgery unavailable on the NHS before the disease spreads from her lungs.

Missing teen Wafa Benaziza

Concern is growing for a missing teenage girl who was last seen leaving her home in Essex last week.

View over Sudbury showing the area that could be used for the bypass

A bypass is the “key to prosperity in Sudbury”, it has been claimed, but so far the route has not been included in an official blueprint mapping out the future of the area over the next 20 years.

Stock image: emergency services at the scene of a fire

Firefighters tackled a blaze at a residential caravan in west Suffolk last night.

Christine Taylor and her grandson William Taylor and her partner Philip Wall - all victims of a crash on the A14 at Trimley.

A car passenger has died after never recovering from injuries suffered in a crash which killed two other people – two and-a-half years ago.

Police officer. Library image.

Exclusive: Last year officers at Essex Police took more than 11,000 sick days for stress, anxiety or depression – more than double the figure five years ago.

Fire (stock photo)

Two vehicles and a section of fencing in a communal car park in north Essex were found burning in the early hours of this morning.

Man admits sexual assault

Police have expressed their relief that a woman who was sexually assaulted in her own home will not need to re-live her experiences during a trial, as her attacker admitted to the crime.

Police road closure.

A van driver has been rushed to Addenbrooke’s Hospital in a life-threatening condition after a crash near Higham.

Traffic. Library image.

The A12 northbound has reopened at Witham after a six vehicle crash.

Most read

Most commented

Topic pages