Bertie Fisher, from Ballinamallard, in Co. Fermanagh, Ireland, was at the time, Ireland's most successful rally driver of all time, with 20 wins to his credit.

Fisher had a couple of near misses and fatal accidents over his time in the drivers seat, but none as eye-opening or lethally-potential as that of the dreaded Galway '86 incident, where his brakes failed at a 90' right junction on the second day, and he barely missed spectators who, by standing behind tape set up by marshalls, naively thought they were safe.
This led to not only Fisher's retirement for about 15 months but also totally changed the concept of Rally spectating in Ireland.
This incident, coupled with the fatal '86 COI (circuit of Ireland) accident where Ford's Kelli Grundel knocked a boy flying 20 ft into the air, when he was standing in the middle of a stage, created a two-month ban on rallying in Ireland, a thought which could hardly be thought of now.

His success was unrivalled, with victories in all different classes and teams throughout the eighties winning 20 tarmac championships and numerous rallies both in Ireland and the Isle of Man.

Not, only a champion on the roads, Fisher, and his family, became highly influential business people in Northern Ireland, especially in the steel and construction business. He is reputed to have made millions.

Unfortunately, there is no happy ending to the Bertie Fisher story. On the 21st of January 2001, Fisher, his two sons Mark and Roy, daughter Emma and wife Gladys were returning to Fermanagh in the family's private helicopter when it lost control and crashed.
Emma and Mark were both killed instantly. Roy suffered two broken arms and Gladys is in critical condition awaiting surgery. Bertie's life support machine was turned off last night, Monday 22nd January 2000, and 11.15pm, he had suffered extensive brain damage.

So ends the story of [Ireland's greatest rally driver of all time}.

Information gleaned from various sources, UTV, Irish Rally Website and AOL.

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