Inquest into helicopter crash that killed Lord Ballyedmond and others to open


An inquest into the death of a peer and leading Irish industrialist and three other men who died in a helicopter crash is due to open.

Self-made multi-millionaire Lord Ballyedmond was killed in March 2013 when the helicopter came down shortly after take-off in foggy conditions near the estate he owned in Gillingham, Norfolk.

Also known as Dr Edward Haughey, the 70-year-old businessman, who lived in Co Down, was considered to be one of Ireland's richest men, with estimated wealth in excess of £800 million.

Best known as chairman and founder of Norbrook Laboratories, the largest privately-owned pharmaceutical company in the world, the father-of-three had a range of other business interests.

A life peer with a seat in the House of Lords, first on behalf of the Ulster Unionist Party before switching to the Conservative Party, Dr Haughey had also previously sat in the upper house of the Republic of Ireland's parliament, the Seanad.

Declan Small, 42, Dr Haughey's site foreman at the Norbrook plant in Newry, also died in the crash. 

Helicopter pilots Captain Carl Dickerson, 36, and Captain Lee Hoyle, 45, were also killed when the Agusta Westland AW139 came down in a field.

A jury inquest, expected to last up to four days, is due to open in Norwich on Tuesday.