The restored Iolar plane.
The restored Iolar plane.
Up to 80 light aircrafts are expected to come from all over Ireland for an aerobatic display at a HB Hazelbrook Farm Ice Cream Fundays event on Sunday 1st June from 1pm in aid of Down Syndrome Ireland at a private airfield just oustide Athboy.
The recently restored, Aer Lingus' plane, the Iolar will be available for mini flights at the family fun day and the Gardai and Search and Rescue helicoptors are also to be in attendance.
The HB Hazelbrook Farm Ice Cream Fundays campaign, which is once again generously supported by HB Hazelbrook Farm, runs during May and June with hundreds of fun ice cream parties being hosted across the country supported by thousands of volunteers.
Once again Tesco Ireland has come on board this year by committing to host HB Hazelbrook Farm ice cream parties in their stores all in aid of Down Syndrome Ireland.
Over the past 11 years the HB Hazelbrook Farm Ice Cream Fundays campaign has raised more than €3.3million for Down Syndrome Ireland.
The monies raised provide much needed funds for the development of Down Syndrome Ireland’s nationwide support services to its 3,000-strong member families, which are in huge demand and under resourced.
Pat Clarke, Chief Executive of Down Syndrome Ireland said: “We are humbled by the support and generosity from all the volunteers around the country who 1090 HB Ice Cream parties last year; and of course the generous personal support by HB Hazelbrook Farm. Without their support this annual national fundraiser would not have been possible.
Charities need your help more than ever and we would appeal to families, schools and companies to host an ice cream party this year and do something special.”
Sarah Atkins, brand manager for HB Hazelbrook Farm said: “Down Syndrome Ireland is a fantastic charity and one that we are incredibly proud to support. We are so thankful to everyone who got involved in raising funds and we hope to make this year’s HB Ice cream Fundays campaign an even greater success.”
Down Syndrome Ireland celebrates its 44th anniversary this year. The organisation which has over 3,000 member families across 25 branches nationwide, is the largest organisation concerned with the welfare of people with a learning disability in Ireland.
The charity is 97pc funded by voluntary contributions and events organised by its members.
The new Iolar
The DH Dragon, now restored with loving care by Aer Lingus engineers at Dublin Airport, is a sister ship of the original Iolar.
It was built in Hatfield, England, in 1936 and was test flown by the great Geoffrey de Havilland himself on April 18th of that year. Originally registered G-AECZ, it was flown by Western Airways and Scottish Airways until it was impressed into the RAF’s 110 (Anti-Aircraft Co-operation) Wing in May 1940. It was badly damaged in a crash at Castle Bromwich in late 1940. Repairs were completed in 1942 and it was returned to the RAF. It was sold to Air Taxis at Croyden in March 1946 and to Wiltshire School of Flying in 1948.
It came to Ireland in March 1950, registered EI-AFK, when it was sold to Mr. J. Cleary of Mullingar. Five months later it went to Captain Darby Kennedy of Weston Aerodrome near Dublin and was used for light charter work and pleasure flying. It was withdrawn from service in March 1966.
In the following year the Dragon was purchased by Aer Lingus, painted in the colours of the original Iolar and flown to Dublin Airport by Captain Kennedy on 1st September 1967.
In 1971 the aircraft escorted the first Aer Lingus jumbo jet along the taxi-ways at Dublin Airport when it landed after its delivery flight. It was subsequently displayed at an aeronautical exhibition in the Departures Hall at the airport during the airline’s 50th Anniversary in 1986.