Mayor of the County of Cork Cllr. Mary Linehan Foley has participated in a virtual commemoration ceremony to mark the anniversary of Air India Flight 182 following an invitation from the families of the victims of the 1985 terrorist attack.
Mayor Linehan Foley joined Her Excellency Ms. Nancy Smyth, Ambassador of Canada and His Excellency Mr. Sandeep Kumar, Ambassador of the Republic of India, along with Dr. Padmini Turlapati, mother to victims Sanjay and Deepak Turlapati, for the online commemoration that was shared by the families of the victims on YouTube.
This year’s commemoration ceremony, which usually takes place at the memorial garden in Ahakista, County Cork, has taken an online format due to public health guidelines and restrictions on international travel. Cork County Council and the embassies to Ireland of India and Canada laid wreaths at Ahakista on behalf of the families of the victims and the respective nations, marking the anniversary day, Wednesday 23rd of June. Wreaths were also laid on behalf of the victims of the attack and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. Marian Carey, Principal of Coláiste Pobail Bheanntraí laid a wreath on behalf of the school, while students of Rusnacahara National School participated in the form of a musical recital.
Mayor of the County of Cork, Cllr. Mary Linehan Foley commented, “The devastating event that took place off the West Cork Coast brought tragedy to lives of many families and brought the nations of Ireland, India and Canada together in mourning. The experience has taught us the importance of solidarity when faced with tragedy. 36 years on, solidarity has come to the fore of our relationships again, as we support each other through the global pandemic. The memorial garden in Ahakista plays an important role, not just for the families of the victims of Flight 182, but for all of us, serving as a tangible reminder that even in the face of unimaginable loss, we are not alone in our suffering. We will continue to show solidarity and support one another through our current struggles, so that we may come together at Ahakista again.”
Cork County Council is committed to maintaining the memorial garden at Ahakista, dedicated to all those who died on the Air India flight 182 on 23rd June 1985 which has over the years become a cherished place for the families to visit and to remember their loved ones. The Council maintains a close connection with the families of the victims and has participated in and supported the annual remembrance gathering.