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Inquest into helicopter crash that killed Irish millionaire Lord Ballyedmond opens in Norwich

Lord Ballyedmond. Picture: WikiCommons
Lord Ballyedmond. Picture: WikiCommons

AN INQUEST will open in Bournemouth this week into the death of Lord Ballyedmond in a helicopter crash in 2014.

Lord Ballyedmond was one of Ireland’s richest men – with a net worth in excess of £800million at the time of his death at the age of 70.

He was killed along with three men when his helicopter came down shortly after take-off in thick fog near the estate he owned in Gillingham, Norfolk.

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The cause of the crash has still to be determined – and the inquest aims to shed some light on the tragedy.

Known for being the founder of the world’s largest privately-owned pharmaceutical company, Norbrook Laboratories, the father-of-three had sat in both the Seanad and the House of Lords as a life peer.

Born Edward Haughey in Kilcurry, Co. Louth, he spent four years working in the US in pharmaceutical sales before he returned to Ireland.

He set up Norbrook Laboratories in the late 1960s.

After sitting on the Irish senate in the 1990s, he was made a life peer and given the title Baron Ballyedmond of Mourne in 2004 when he took up his seat in the House of Lords.

He remained in this position until his death ten years later.

The crash, which occurred on March 13, 2014, also claimed the lives of Declan Small, 42, site foreman at the Norbrook plant in Newry, and pilots Captain Carl Dickerson, 36, and Captain Lee Hoyle, 45.

The jury inquest, expected to last up to four days, is due to open in Norwich today.

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James Mulhall
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James Mulhall is a reporter with The Irish Post. Follow him on Twitter @JamzMulhall

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