Saturday 23 September 2017

Irishman goes back to be with father

Jason O'Brien

Jason O'Brien

AN Irishman returned to Libya yesterday because he "could not stand idly by" as civil war there continues.

The 34-year-old, whose father is Libyan and currently in Benghazi, left his wife and one-year-old son at the family home in Dublin.

They had been evacuated from Tripoli on Saturday with the help of the Department of Foreign Affairs. Another sister and her little daughter arrived back from Benghazi on Tuesday.

"I'm upset he's gone back," his mother, who doesn't want to be named because of fears of reprisals in Libya, told the Irish Independent.

"He said, 'If I don't go back I'll never forgive myself'. He wanted to be with his father. He wanted to give blood, to do something useful. He saw a friend being hurt in a protest on TV and was upset.''

The man and his American/Libyan wife moved to Tripoli when he got a job there.

"She said they were like prisoners recently -- they couldn't go outside the door," his mother said.

"My husband doesn't say much on the phone, but he's always been like that. I think he's okay. He won't leave until it's over."

The Department of Foreign Affairs said there were 62 Irish citizens in Libya -- 52 in Tripoli and 10 in Benghazi. Ten of them want to leave and efforts are being made to get them to the United Arab Emirates.

Irish Independent

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