Wednesday 28 September 2016

'We thought it was fireworks' - Irish based in Dallas shocked at shootings

Martin Grant

Published 09/07/2016 | 07:26

David Devlin with his fiancé Hayley O Sullivan
David Devlin with his fiancé Hayley O Sullivan

IRISH families living in Dallas have told how they were having a barbecue when they heard the gunfire that killed five police officers.

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David Devlin, from Emyvale, Co Monaghan, was enjoying the evening sunshine with his fiancee Hayley O’Sullivan and their friends Eddie and Samia Geraghty and their daughter Rania (11), from Co Roscommon, only a mile from where the bloodbath happened.

They did not initially realise the extent of what was unfolding nearby.

“We thought it was maybe people with leftover fireworks from the Fourth of July celebrations,” Mr Devlin told the Herald.

“We could hear the sirens and the repeated gunfire. People didn’t know who was being targeted. As time went on, more and more detail started to coming out and we realised it was a tragedy.

“When we heard how many police officers had been hit and killed, it was shocking. There’s shock and sadness around Dallas, people are coming together in the city.

“A lot of people were locked in their offices and the authorities closed all the streets.

“Those police officers have families and kids – they went to work expecting to go home and now they won’t.”

People protest in front of the Department of Justice in Washington, Friday, July 8, 2016. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)
People protest in front of the Department of Justice in Washington, Friday, July 8, 2016. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)
President Barack Obama is cutting short a trip to Europe following the Dallas shootings (AP)
A woman places flowers at the Dallas police headquarters, following the killing of five officers (AP)
A Dallas police vehicle follows an ambulance carrying a patient to hospital during the shootings in the city (AP)
Armed police officers respond after shots were fired at a Black Lives Matter rally in Dallas, killing five officers Picture: Smiley N. Pool/The Dallas Morning News

Accountant Mr Geraghty said he was stunned when he realised the shots he heard had killed five local police officers.

“Nobody knows why this has happened. The area is generally very nice and the people are friendly. Something like this just doesn’t happen here,” he said.

“It really is a heinous act to start deliberately shooting at police officers. I really think this is about racism and hate.

“The Dallas police have a very good record with policing in minority areas and I can’t understand why this happened.”

Herald

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