Investigations launched following fatal Offaly plane crash

The Air Accident Investigation Unit and gardaí are investigating a fatal plane crash near Birr, County Offaly last night which claimed the lives of two men, one in his 30s and one in his 20s.

Post-mortems will be carried out today on pilot Niall Doherty from Roscrea in County Tipperary, and his passenger Damien Deegan, who was from Crinkle in County Offaly.

Both were pronounced dead at the scene when the Cessna Light Training Aircraft crashed in a field at Clonkelly Upper at about 5pm.

The alarm was raised when the plane lost radio contact with Air Traffic Control, close to Birr Airfield.

Independent local councillor Tony McLoughlin said a similar fatal plane crash took place in the same area many years ago.

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