Sunday, June 19, 2016

Darby Kennedy: A Long Way for a Drink

I met up with former colleague and friend Leo Enright at the airport on Thursday, and in the course of conversation he told me that Captain Darby Kennedy had died at the age of 101, writes Brian Byrne.

In fact, he died a month ago, but I was in Germany at the time and missed the death notice.

Darby Kennedy was Aer Lingus’s first Chief Pilot and flew for the young airline for many years. He was also responsible for training many young people to fly from his base at Weston Airport over decades.

I met him several times, initially through a Kilcullen connection, a hilarious episode involving my father and my uncle Tommy and a number of their friends, which I documented here in my memoir, A Long Way for a Drink.

He also explained to me once his own theory about the 1968 Tuskar Rock loss of an Aer Lingus plane, which he himself had been flying earlier in the week.

A pioneer, a gentleman, and a survivor to the end. May he rest in peace.