The world of rallying is deeply shocked and saddened on hearing news of the tragic death of legendary driver Bertie Fisher. The Fisher name had become synominous to everyone involved in the sport and beyond. This was set to continue with the emergence of Bertie's son, Mark, who sadly, also died in the fateful helicopter crash, which also took the life of his sister Emma.

Bertie was four times Irish Tarmac Champion having won three Circuit of Ireland's and the Ulster Rally on four occasions. He practically made the Killarney 'Rally of the Lakes' very much his own, setting fastest times over the daunting Molls Gap stage en route to six victories at the Kerry event.

Mark, 27, won the 1999 Peugeot 106 Cup in the UK and had just signed with the Peugeot Works team for the 2001 season.

Bertie also firmly established the Subaru brand as one of the most successful and sought after rally cars to compete in the Irish scene.

Tributes to Bertie and Mark have poured in from far and wide. An Essex based colleague summed up the despair felt by the motorsport community across the Irish Sea. "Bertie was just a bloody good bloke who was quite prepared to put his money and effort into making the sport better for all and showing his own talent and dedication in the process. He always but always had time to speak to friend and stranger alike, to offer advice to youngsters and to maintain a professional yet enjoyable approach.

Mark quite simply had what it takes to go much further still in the game and I will always remember his run at Castleton on the Manx Rally, which was breathtaking.

Make certain that all our friends in Ireland know that we too are heartbroken at this tragedy and will be thinking and praying for everyone involved."

The loss of both Bertie and Mark has left a huge void in the sport. Indeed, they will always be remembered.

-Jarlath Sweeney