Sunday 4 December 2016

Tunisia terror attack: Family of Irish victim 'hopeful' remains can be brought home today

Mother-of-two Lorna Carty was holidaying with husband Declan when she was killed in attack

Mark O'Regan and Caroline Crawford

Published 30/06/2015 | 02:30

Lorna Carty
Lorna Carty
Gun victims: Larry and Martina Hayes from Athlone
A hooded Tunisian police officer stands guard ahead of the visit of top security officials of Britain, France, Germany and Belgium at the scene of Friday’s shooting attack in front of the Imperial Marhaba hotel in Sousse, Tunisa
Police patrol the beach
Tourists take part in a gathering of solidarity on the island of Djerba yesterday following the deadly gun attack at a holiday resort near Sousse

The family of the first Irish victim identified in the Tunisian terror attack is hopeful her remains can be brought home today.

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Mother-of-two Lorna Carty was holidaying with her husband, Declan, when she was gunned down in last Friday's terror attack.

The family of Athlone couple Larry (56), and Martina Hayes (55), still do not know when their bodies will be repatriated.

Mr Hayes's brother, Michael, said a range of strict formalities have to be met before they will be released by the Tunisian authorities.

Taoiseach Enda Kenny yesterday described the Tunisian terror attack as appalling and maintained the actions of any possible terrorists were constantly monitored here.

"It's appalling and my sympathies and the sympathies of everybody go to the families of the three Irish people who lost their lives there," he said.

"This is an act of terrorism and racism. That people from all over the world would go to a country to enjoy holidays, enjoy the sunshine, and have havoc and tragedy wreaked upon them by fundamentalists, which is just appalling."

Mr Kenny said the Government would do everything to bring consolation, understanding and support to the families.

"But we can never bring them back from the point where they went on their holidays," he added.

Meath Fine Gael TD Ray Butler, a friend of the Carty family, said both Declan and his son Simon - an inter-county footballer who flew to the resort after the tragedy to support his devastated father - have been working tirelessly behind the scenes to get several outstanding issues resolved.

People hold hands as they pray in a circle around bouquets of flowers laid in tribute on the beach of the Imperial Marhaba resort, which was attacked by a gunman, in Sousse, Tunisia, June 28, 2015. REUTERS/Zohra Bensemra
People hold hands as they pray in a circle around bouquets of flowers laid in tribute on the beach of the Imperial Marhaba resort, which was attacked by a gunman, in Sousse, Tunisia, June 28, 2015. REUTERS/Zohra Bensemra
People place flowers on the beach of the Imperial Marhaba resort, which was attacked by a gunman, in Sousse, Tunisia, June 28, 2015. REUTERS/Zohra Bensemra
Women react on the beach of the Imperial Marhaba resort, which was attacked by a gunman, in Sousse, Tunisia, June 28, 2015. REUTERS/Zohra Bensemra
A family reacts beside flowers laid on the beach of the Imperial Marhaba resort, which was attacked by a gunman, in Sousse, Tunisia, June 28, 2015. REUTERS/Zohra Bensemra
Russian tourists are seen shopping at the old medina in Sousse, Tunisia, June 28, 2015.REUTERS/Zohra Bensemra
Residents of the coastal town of Sousse in Tunisia place flowers and messages during a gathering at the scene of Friday's shooting attack, Sunday, June 28, 2015. (AP Photo/Abdeljalil Bounhar)
People place lit candles in the sand in front of the Imperial Marhaba Hotel, where a gunman had carried out an attack, in Sousse, Tunisia, June 28, 2015. REUTERS/Zohra BensemraÄ®
People place lit candles in the sand in front of the Imperial Marhaba Hotel, where a gunman had carried out an attack, in Sousse, Tunisia, June 28, 2015. REUTERS/Zohra Bensemra
A lit candle is seen in the sand in front of the Imperial Marhaba Hotel, where a gunman carried out an attack, in Sousse, Tunisia, June 28, 2015. REUTERS/Zohra Bensemra
A woman holds a child as they sit near lit candles in the sand in front of the Imperial Marhaba Hotel, where a gunman carried out an attack, in Sousse, Tunisia, June 28, 2015. REUTERS/Zohra Bensemra
People hold candles as they walk to the beach of the Imperial Marhaba Hotel, where a gunman had carried out an attack, in Sousse, Tunisia, June 28, 2015. REUTERS/Zohra Bensemra
People hold candles as they walk to the beach of the Imperial Marhaba Hotel, where a gunman had carried out an attack, in Sousse, Tunisia, June 28, 2015. REUTERS/Zohra Bensemra
People hold candles as they walk to the beach of the Imperial Marhaba Hotel, where a gunman had carried out an attack, in Sousse, Tunisia, June 28, 2015. REUTERS/Zohra Bensemra
People hold candles as they walk to the beach of the Imperial Marhaba Hotel, where a gunman had carried out an attack, in Sousse, Tunisia, June 28, 2015. REUTERS/Zohra Bensemra
An unidentified tourist places flowers at the scene of Friday's shooting attack in the coastal town of Sousse, Tunisia, Sunday, June 28, 2015. (AP Photo/Abdeljalil Bounhar)
Residents of the coastal town of Sousse in Tunisia place flowers and messages during a gathering at the scene of Friday's shooting attack, Sunday, June 28, 2015. (AP Photo/Abdeljalil Bounhar)
Men carry chairs at the entrance of the house of Saif Rezgui, a gunman who shot 39 tourists on the beach of the Imperial Marhaba Hotel, in Gaafour, Tunisia, June 28, 2015. REUTERS/Zoubeir Souissi
Women pray near bouquets of flowers laid on the beach of the Imperial Marhaba resort, which was attacked by a gunman, in Sousse, Tunisia, June 28, 2015. REUTERS/Zohra Bensemra
A police officer patrols the beach near the Imperial Marhaba resort, which was attacked by a gunman in Sousse, Tunisia, June 29, 2015. REUTERS/Zohra Bensemra
A police officer stands guard near the Imperial Marhaba resort, which was attacked by a gunman in Sousse, Tunisia, June 29, 2015. REUTERS/Zohra Bensemra
Tourists pay their respects in front of a makeshift memorial at the beach near the Imperial Marhaba resort, which was attacked by a gunman in Sousse, Tunisia, June 29, 2015. REUTERS/Zohra Bensemra
Messages and flowers are placed at the beach of the Imperial Marhaba resort, which was attacked by a gunman in Sousse, Tunisia, June 29, 2015. REUTERS/Zohra Bensemra

"The family are hoping so much Lorna's remains will be back home today - but it's by no means guaranteed," said Mr Butler last night.

"Everything is ready to go. They're just waiting on the Tunisian officials to give the green light. In the meantime, the family are getting on with things the best way they can.

"The identification process of people of all nationalities caught up in the shooting has been slow to date; that gives you an indication as to how things are being done over there.

"The family are very happy with the work of the Irish Government, but in Tunisia it appears things move along at a different pace."

Mrs Carty, from Robinstown in Co Meath, worked as a nurse in a private practice in Navan. The Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation (INMO) has opened an online book of condolence for members to express their sympathy.

General Secretary Liam Doran extended his deepest sympathy on behalf of the organisation and all of the members who knew Mr s Carty.

The chairman of Glanbia Co-operative Society, Henry Corbally, also expressed his sympathy to her family and friends.

The Carty family are highly respected Glanbia milk suppliers.

Meanwhile, Michael Hayes said strict criteria has to be met before they can bring his brother and sister-in-law home.

"We're waiting for the formalities to be completed . . . we haven't been given anything definitive as to when they'll be flown home," he told the Irish Independent.

A source involved in the repatriation process said while there was a "chance" the bodies would be back on Irish soil today, it remains "unlikely".

"The information suggests that it's possible, and the Irish authorities are working very hard with their counterparts to ensure everything moves as quickly as possible," he said.

"Once repatriation arrangements are in place, then international undertakers get involved. So there is a chance they'll be home today."

Meanwhile a book of condolence has opened at Belfast City Hall, while a national one minute's silence will be held in Britain at noon on Friday.

Irish Independent

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