Community in shock at death of 'beautiful woman' Lorna
A tight-knit rural community in Co Meath has paid tribute to a popular, loving mother and nurse who was gunned down during a frenzied terrorist attack in Tunisia.
The family of Lorna Carty, who was murdered in the atrocity in Sousse, was said to be in shock after her tragic death in the beach resort on the eastern coast of the north African country.
Lorna and her husband Declan, both aged in their early 50s, went on holiday to help him recover from heart surgery. He was rushed to hospital two or three weeks ago with pains in his heart and had stents fitted.
It is understood the couple, from Robinstown, received the holiday as a gift from a relative.
Declan, a farmer, was in their hotel room resting when his wife made a trip to the beach in the resort where they were staying.
It is understood the couple were due to return home yesterday, just hours after the attack happened.
Local TD Ray Butler - who spoke to Declan shortly after the tragedy - said the farmer was "absolutely distraught". He said it was the worst call he ever had to make.
"It is so sad to hear what happened, and for this lady to be out enjoying her holidays on the beach, and to lose her life. It's very sad," Mr Butler said.
"(The holiday) was a gift to go and enjoy themselves and it ended so tragically.
"The community is shocked and the whole area. They are involved in the local football club and the husband was a senior member."
The couple have two children, Simon and Hazel.
Simon (21) is an inter-county footballer with Meath and was described as a very "valued player" within the organisation.
He was at home looking after the family farm when his mother was killed.
His younger sister Hazel, who recently sat her Leaving Certificate, was away with friends on holiday. A family member last night asked for privacy while they tried to "come to terms" with the news.
Lorna, whose maiden name was Harlin, was a nurse in a health centre in Navan. The whole family are deeply immersed in the local GAA club, Dunderry.
She was originally from Kilmessan, where her brothers are also involved in the local hurling club there.
Billy Bligh, club secretary at Dunderry GAA, where Declan is treasurer, said Lorna also helped out with medical assistance.
He said she was "loved by all in the club".
"Lorna was a wonderful person, a real lady in every sense," he said. "She was a great helper at the club. Lorna spent many days with us, she was a nurse and did our first aid. She was loved by everyone."
All matches and training at the club have been cancelled until further notice due to the tragedy.
A family friend said everybody was devastated by the news.
"We are all heartbroken. This is a very tight-knit community, we all knew Lorna very well. It is just so sad," she said.
Marie Dowd, from Dunderry, described Lorna as one of the nicest people she had ever met.
"When a tragedy like this happens, you always say nice things about the person but in Lorna's case, a few nice words are not enough," she said.
"She was an absolutely beautiful woman in every sense of the word. My heart goes out to her family."
A family friend described Lorna as "extremely popular and well-known in Navan".
Local shopkeeper Tom Flanagan said the villages of Dunderry and Robinstown had been struck by a number of "tragedies" in the past few months.
"We have been surrounded by death here lately," he said.
"It is so sad, we are all in shock. Imagine going off on holiday for that to happen."