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Friday 21 October 2016

Irish tourists fly to Tunisia hours after attack

Published 27/06/2015 | 02:30

Alan Tuohey and his wife Sinéad at Dublin Airport
Alan Tuohey and his wife Sinéad at Dublin Airport

More than 100 Irish tourists decided to fly out on package holidays to Tunisia just hours after learning of the bloody massacre there.

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Some Irish people who were due to stay at the hotel where the mass killings took place declined an offer yesterday to be moved to another hotel and indicated they would check into the hotel - the Imperial Marhaba - in Sousse.

But other Irish people refused to board the flight in Dublin yesterday afternoon after hearing the terrible news.

Alan Touhey (31) and his family group of 10 decided to abandon their planned holiday while at Dublin Airport.

"We were all here at the airport ready to go when we were given the news," said Mr Touhey.

"We knew there was no way we would be going. We could not bring kids into a danger zone.

Ann Gannon (50), who was travelling with her daughter Rebecca, said: "It wasn't worth the risk to travel there."

Tanya Airey, managing director of Sunway Travel, said 170 people were booked to fly from Dublin to Tunisia at 3.30pm yesterday.

When news of the massacre broke, the flight was delayed so that inquiries could be made with the Department of Foreign Affairs, who advised extreme caution.

"We offered to give the group full refunds, holidays in a different destination, or to proceed with their holiday," Ms Airey said.

"There were 112 who decided to go ahead with the holiday and 59 decided for either a refund or an alternative destination."

Irish Independent

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