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Thursday 29 June 2017

'I just needed to talk to the kids -- I thought we were finished'

Colm Kelpie

Colm Kelpie

AN IRISH couple who were on board the stricken Italian cruise liner and feared for their lives arrived home to an emotional welcome yesterday.

Seamus and Carol Moore were greeted with hugs and kisses at Dublin Airport yesterday by their children Luke (21), Claire (18), James (15) and other relieved family members.

The pair, from Clonmel, Co Tipperary, were celebrating Carol's 50th birthday on the luxury liner 'Costa Concordia' when it ran aground off an Italian island on Friday.

Mrs Moore recalled how they feared they would not survive. "I just needed to talk to the kids, because I thought we were finished," she said.

"You just wonder, how are you going to get off this ship? Then peace sort of comes over you.

"You kind of get resigned, and then you think, maybe there's a bit of hope doing something else. So you just keep going."

The Department of Foreign Affairs confirmed that a third Irish passport holder on the ship, but believed to be living in the North, was also safe and well.

Mr Moore (52) said the ship began to shake and list at about 9.20pm. They were not safely on shore until five hours later.

"The boat listed and everything was crashing one way and then the next way, and the one thing that I did notice was that the piano player kept playing," Mr Moore said. "I thought I was on the 'Titanic'."

Mrs Moore said one of the most frightening aspects of the ordeal was trying to walk around the ship.

"The deck was now a wall and you were walking on what was the restaurant windows, and you were trying to avoid the windows in case you stood on them, they crashed in and you went flying down to the other end of the ship. That was really scary."

Mr Moore, who recently retired as a local health manager with the HSE, said they rang their friends to alert them to what was happening.

"We rang our friends just to say 'look, we don't know what's going to happen next, and just in case if the worst came to the worst, to tell the kids we love them and just let them know that we were thinking about them'," he said.

But in the midst of their terrifying ordeal, the couple tried their best to stay upbeat.

Mr Moore said: "When we were sitting on the side of the ship I said to her (Carol) 'now we know what Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet felt like', and she said, 'well, at least Kate lived'. I think that's what kept her going."

Irish Independent

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