Husband of tragic Tunisia victim Lorna Carty thanks tourists 'who put their arms around him' on fateful day
Published 08/07/2015 | 12:48
The husband of an Irishwoman who was tragically killed in the Tunisia terror attack has thanked the fellow tourists who ‘put their arms around him’ on the day of the massacre.
Declan Carty named the tourists, some by just their Christian name and their nationality, who helped console him when he discovered his wife Lorna Carty had been a victim of the ruthless attack in which 38 people were killed.
Declan and Lorna were enjoying the final day of their holiday when Lorna decided to take a final walk on the beach before their transport left the hotel.
The father-of-two ran to the beach when he heard the commotion, only to discover his wife had been fatally shot.
In a heartfelt statement issued on behalf of his family, Mr Carty also expressed his appreciation to those involved in the repatriation process, to the officials involved and to his support system at home in Meath.
“I would like to thank those who helped me while I was abroad. Kevin Hawkes, a man who served many years in the British Army for putting his arm around me and consoling me on the beach when I was at my lowest ebb, when I needed it most,” Declan said today.
“I would like to thank a Swiss woman Jasmine as well as a British couple, Gary and Alison Hollinrake who both took me under their wing and supported me in my time of need too.”
With a special mention for the ‘unbelievably kind’ Aer Lingus, Mr Carty also thanked the Irish Ambassador in Tunisia David Cooney, head of Consular Affairs in Tunisia Caoimhe Ni Conchuir, Moncef Mzabi and his ‘stoic secretary’ Lateefa as well as Thomas Bellew and Margaret Carton from the Department of Foreign Affairs.
“Together this team got through a mountain of work that led to Lorna and the Hayes’ being the first people to return home,” Mr Carty said.
“Words alone cannot express my gratefulness for their work, the comfort they brought me at this time and their kind, honest and supportive nature, the ‘Irish’ way that has been ingrained in them.
“It is important for me that everyone remembers the names of David Cooney and Caoimhe Ni Conchuir because I will never forget these two people.”
He continued: “Back at home while we were still in Tunisia, many people helped and supported the Carty and Harlin family.
“I would like to thank Eimer from Hannon Travel who arranged to get [my son] Simon out to Tunisia on Friday evening, the Gardai from Trim who provided the Garda escort to the Airport. Denis Coughlan, Kells for his speedy assistance.
“The local community in Kilmessan who supported the family and made endless cups of teas and coffee and fed everyone.”
Mr Carty continued his extensive list, mentioning the travel company who provided transport home for his daughter Hazel who was celebrating her Leaving Certificate holiday at the time.
He also thanked the local communities of Dunderry, Robinstown and Kilbride ‘who pulled out all the stops to ensure everything was organised and fitting for Lorna coming home’.
“I would particularly like to thank Dunderry GAA, Dunderry Ladies Circle, Robinstown Parents Association and all who helped in any way,” he said.
“Her very close lifelong friends Mary Brennan and Margaret Davis who cleaned, organised and helped feed everyone and ensured all was perfect for Lorna and indeed all of Lorna’s close friends who rallied around and helped us all.
“All the neighbours, friends and people who called to the Harlin and Carty homes to offer their support, assistance and condolences.
“Also the lads who have been looking after the farm for us.”
Mr Carty added thanks to his wife’s nursing community, the Boyne Valley Farmers Group for ‘their support and for helping with the stewarding’, the local GAA groups, the Meath Senior Football team, the gardai and priests from the locality and surrounding area.
Thinking of even the smallest details, Mr Carty mentioned the funeral singer and the people ‘who organised the seating outside the church and provided refreshments’.
He said the Carty family are offering their condolences to Larry and Martina Hayes, who were also killed in the attack, and their families.
“We very much appreciate the support and sympathy that has been expressed,” M Carty said.
“We thank the media for respecting our privacy up to now and we ask that you continue to allow us this privacy, so that we can mourn the sudden and tragic passing of our beloved Lorna with dignity."