Tributes paid to plane crash victim who worked in Carlow and left 'a lasting legacy'

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The late John Finnan

A Kildare resident who died in a light aircraft crash on Sunday evening will be laid to rest in Athy on Wednesday. 

John Finnan, who was 58 and had an address at Emily Square in Athy, lost his life in the incident at Ambrosetown area, near Duncormick in south Wexford at 5.45pm.

Former manager at Waterford Regional Airport, Peter Tawse (62) also died in the crash.

John was a senior research officer in the Teagasc Crops Research Department in Oak Park, Carlow.

John Spink, Head of Crops, Environment and the Land Use Programme at Teagasc, said: "It is with the deepest regret and sadness that we heard that our dear colleague and friend John Finnan was on board the plane that crashed in Wexford [on Sunday] afternoon.

"Our thoughts and prayers are with John’s family, his parents and his three sisters, at this time of loss.

"John was a senior research officer in the Teagasc Crops Research Department in Oak Park, Carlow. His research specialised on Energy Crops, and more recently Oats, his publication record was second to none and will leave a lasting legacy in Ireland and across Europe. 

"John was a fantastic colleague and friend, and a mentor to many PhD students. It was an honour and privilege to know and work with John and we remember a colleague who impacted so positively on people’s lives."

John, who also had links to Naas, will be laid to rest in St Michael's New Cemetery, Athy following Requiem Mass in St Michael's Parish Church at 12 noon.

The crash is being investigated by the Air Accident Investigation Unit (AAIU) and a preliminary report is expected within 30 days.

A team from the AAIU were on site retrieving all the parts of the wreckage which is spread over a number of fields.

The aircraft was a vintage two-seater plane with one engine that was primarily used for leisure flying.

The death notice for Mr Finnan on RIP.ie stated: "Our 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 nephew’s Alastair, Jack, Archie, Joshua and Toby, his niece Hannah, relatives and many friends. R.I.P."
 
His remains will be reposing at Rigney's Funeral Home, Athy from 4pm today [Tuesday] with prayers at 6pm.
 
Removal will take place at 6.30pm on this evening [Tuesday] to arrive at St Michael's Parish Church, Athy for 7pm.
 
The death notice states that refreshments in honour of John will take place in Clanard Court Hotel Athy after the burial.