*Naoise Ryan. Photograph: Jonathan Tyner
MICHEÁL ‘Mick’ Ryan’s widow has filed a US Court motion over the plane crash which killed the Clare man.
A senior UN humanitarian worker from Lahinch, Mick passed away at the age of 39 when he was among 157 people to die when their Boeing 737 Max aircraft, Ethiopian Airlines flight 302, crashed six minutes after take-off from Addis Ababa, on March 10, 2019. It was the second major crash involving a Max aircraft in five months.
Naoise Ryan, Mick’s wife has said she intends to do everything possible to hold Boeing executives to account for the deaths. She has not accepted an offer of $1.4m which was made to her from the crash victim fund. “It’s blood money. This isn’t about money. I say this all the time, it’s about truth, accountability, and real justice”.
Boeing avoided prosecution after a deferred prosecution agreement was reached between the US Department of Justice and Boeing. It included a fine of $243.6m, compensation to airlines of $1.77bn, and a $500m crash-victim fund. Since the agreement was reached, only one employee of Boeing has been charged with a crime despite the indictment making clear his criminal acts were not undertaken in “rogue fashion and without the direction or knowledge of others within Boeing”.
She and other family members have filed a motion in a US court detailing how the US government “violated their rights through a secret process” when it struck the DPA with Boeing in January, and they have asked a judge to scrap the agreement. “If the US justice department had advised us of our right to confer with it about the crimes associated with the crash, we would have urged the department to hold Boeing accountable to the full extent of US criminal law,” Naoise said.
“We would have pointed out that the Boeing employees whose conduct form the basis of the DPA were acting in furtherance of Boeing’s programme goals, set at the highest levels of the company. Boeing should be fully prosecuted. The agreement reached under the Trump administration is merely a slap on the wrist that wrongly holds no executive accountable,” she added.
Anger was expressed by Naoise with the agreement reached. “It is unbelievable, the idea that with the evidence out there and the evidence has come to light since”.
Her fight for justice will continue, “I feel very strongly about it, it is not something I’m prepared to give in on, there is no amount of money than anyone could offer in a DPA or agreement that would make me feel this is justice. Justice has to come from accountability and holding those responsible to account, more than anything I want to ensure this doesn’t happen again, something has to change”. She concluded, “What we have been through is horrendous, it is unimaginable”.