Thursday 25 May 2017

Irish man living in Nice: 'We heard gun shots outside and crowds running while our pub was in lockdown'

Parents of victims embrace each other near the scene of a truck attack in Nice, southern France. (AP Photo/Luca Bruno)
Parents of victims embrace each other near the scene of a truck attack in Nice, southern France. (AP Photo/Luca Bruno)
French forensic police continue their investigation as they gather clues the day after a truck at high speed ran into a crowd killing scores celebrating the Bastille Day national holiday. Reuters/Eric Gaillard
The truck which slammed into the crowd that had gathered for a Bastille Day fireworks display in the Riviera city of Nice. (AP Photo/Luca Bruno)
A security guard walks near the scene of an attack after a truck drove onto the sidewalk and plowed through a crowd who'd gathered to watch the fireworks in the French resort city of Nice, southern France. (AP Photo/Luca Bruno)
French police forces and forensic officers stand next to a truck that ran into a crowd celebrating the Bastille Day national holiday on the Promenade des Anglais killing at least 60 people in Nice, France. Photo: Reuters
Ambulances line up near the scene of the attack. (AP Photo/Claude Paris)
People cross the street with their hands on their heads as a French soldier secures the area after the terror attack. Reuters/Jean-Pierre Amet
Twitter feed video grab courtesy of @harp_detectives of people running away. Photo: @harp_detectives/PA Wire
French soldiers cordon off the area after a truck ran into a crowd celebrating the Bastille Day national holiday. Photo: Reuters/Eric Gaillard
French soldiers advance on the street after last night's terror attack. Photo: Reuters/Eric Gaillard
French President Francois Hollande makes a televised address in Paris. (French Pool via AP)
Police officers seal off the area of an attack after a truck drove on to the sidewalk and plowed through a crowd of revelers who'd gathered to watch the fireworks in the French resort city of Nice, southern France. Photo: AP
French soldiers stand guard by the sealed off area of an attack after a truck drove on to the sidewalk and plowed through a crowd of revelers who'd gathered to watch the fireworks in the French resort city of Nice, southern France. Photo: AP
Police officers stand near a van that ploughed into a crowd leaving a fireworks display in the French Riviera town of Nice. Photo: AFP/Getty Images
Video grab shows ambulances and Police cars after a truck drove on to the sidewalk and plowed through a crowd of revelers who had gathered to watch the fireworks in the French resort city of Nice. Photo: BFMTV via AP
Police officers and a soldier stand by the sealed off area of an attack after a truck drove on to the sidewalk and plowed through a crowd of revelers who'd gathered to watch the fireworks in the French resort city of Nice, southern France. Photo: AP
French police forces and forensic officers stand next to a truck that ran into a crowd celebrating the Bastille Day national holiday on the Promenade des Anglais killing at least 60 people in Nice, France. Photo: Reuters
French police forces and forensic officers stand next to a truck that ran into a crowd celebrating the Bastille Day national holiday on the Promenade des Anglais killing at least 60 people in Nice, France. Photo: Reuters
French police and rescue forces vehicles are seen on the Promenade des Anglais after at least 60 people were killed in Nice, France, when a truck ran into a crowd celebrating the Bastille Day national holiday. Photo: Reuters
French police and rescue forces vehicles are seen on the Promenade des Anglais after at least 60 people were killed in Nice, France, when a truck ran into a crowd celebrating the Bastille Day national holiday. Photo: Reuters
Police officers carry out checks on vehicles in the centre of French Riviera town of Nice, after a van drove into a crowd watching a fireworks display on Bastille Day. Photo: AFP/Getty Images
At least 60 people are feared dead after a van drove into a crowd watching Bastille Day fireworks in the French resort of Nice. Photo: AFP/Getty Images
A soldier stands guard near the site of an attack in the French Riviera town of Nice, after a van that ploughed into a crowd leaving a fireworks display on July 14. Photo: AFP/Getty Images
Police officers speak with a soldier after a van that ploughed into a crowd leaving a fireworks display in the French Riviera town of Nice. Photo: AFP/Getty Images
Police officers stand near a van that ploughed into a crowd leaving a fireworks display in the French Riviera town of Nice. Photo: AFP/Getty Images
Police officers and firefighters arrive near the scene after a van ploughed into a crowd leaving a fireworks display in the French Riviera town of Nice. . Photo: AFP/Getty Images
A vehicle of the Raid special intervention unit of the French police is seen near the site of the attack in the French Riviera town of Nice. Photo: AFP/Getty Images
A helicopter flying near the scene after a van ploughed into a crowd leaving a fireworks display. Photo: AFP/Getty Images
French soldiers advance on the street after at least 30 people were killed in Nice, France, when a truck ran into a crowd celebrating the Bastille Day national holiday July 14, 2016. REUTERS/Eric Gaillard

Geraldine Gittens and Catherine Devine

An Irish man living in Nice has told how he heard gunshots being fired on the streets while he was locked into a pub for safety for up to 40 minutes last night.

Ian Daly, a chef from Roscommon who lives and works in Nice, said he first knew something was wrong near Promenade des Anglais when he saw huge crowds of people running towards him at a tram station.

Mr Daly arrived in Nice by tram from Cannes when he was met with the chaos.

“I got off the tram and there were hundreds and hundreds of people running towards the tram to get on for safety.”

As Ian made his way to Ma Nolan’s Irish pub in the city, the heaving crowd continued to run for cover. Once Mr Daly arrived at the pub, the police ordered that everyone be locked inside.

“Once our owner Christophe was in contact with the police – we were locked into the pub for about 30 or 40 minutes.”

“Nobody knew what was going on, we heard gun shots but we didn’t know where they were from, were they attacks, were they police? People were just running through the streets.”

“Because of the celebrations yesterday there were a lot of children in the pub that were on lockdown and they were very upset.”

Mr Daly and his colleagues began to frantically text their other colleagues who they knew had been celebrating Bastille Day by watching the fire works on the beach by Promenade des Anglais.

 “There was another concern for us last night because a lot of them were on the beach watching the fireworks for Bastille Day.”

“Thankfully, they were all ok.”

Ian and the other occupants of the pub didn’t leave until around 1am this morning. As he walked back to work again this morning, he witnessed a very sombre city.

Members of the Australian French community reacts during a minute of silence during a vigil in central Sydney, Australia, July 15, 2016 to remember the victims of the Bastille Day truck attack in Nice. REUTERS/David Gray
Members of the Australian French community reacts during a minute of silence during a vigil in central Sydney, Australia, July 15, 2016 to remember the victims of the Bastille Day truck attack in Nice. REUTERS/David Gray
A Republican Guard pays respects after lowering the French national flag at half-mast at the Elysee Palace in Paris, France, July 15, 2016, the day after the Bastille Day truck attack in Nice. REUTERS/Philippe Wojazer
Police officers work near the truck that mowed through revelers in Nice, southern France, Friday, July 15, 2016 (AP Photo/Francois Mori)
Flowers are seen attached to a fence to remember the victims of the Bastille Day truck attack in Nice in front of the French embassy in Rome, Italy, July 15, 2016. REUTERS/Max Rossi TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
Flags fly at half-mast to pay tribute to victims the day after a truck ran into a crowd at high speed killing scores and injuring more who were celebrating the Bastille Day national holiday, in Nice, France, July 15, 2016. REUTERS/Eric Gaillard
A man reacts by flowers left in tribute to the victims near the scene where a truck ran into a crowd at high speed killing scores and injuring more who were celebrating the Bastille Day national holiday, in Nice, in Nice, July 15, 2016. REUTERS/Jean-Pierre Amet
People gather near flowers left in tribute to the victims the day after a truck ran into a crowd at high speed killing scores and injuring more who were celebrating the Bastille Day national holiday, in Nice, in Nice, July 15, 2016. REUTERS/Jean-Pierre Amet
People stand near a makeshift memorial for the victims killed in an attack where a truck mowed through revelers in Nice, southern France (AP Photo/Laurent Cipriani)
A woman reacts by flowers left in tribute to the victims the day after a truck ran into a crowd at high speed killing scores and injuring more who were celebrating the Bastille Day national holiday, in Nice, in Nice, July 15, 2016. REUTERS/Jean-Pierre Amet
A life-size copy of renown Michelangelo Buonarroti's David is diplayed supine, as a tribute to the victims of Nice attack, after a ceremony at Repubblica square in Florence, Italy (Maurizio Degl'Innocenti/ANSA Via AP)
A woman sits next to a baby stroller as people gather on the Promenade des Anglais to pay tribute to the victims the day after a truck ran into a crowd at high speed killing scores and injuring more who were celebrating the Bastille Day national holiday in Nice, France, July 15, 2016. REUTERS/Eric Gaillard
People gather near flowers and candles left in tribute to victims the day after a truck ran into a crowd at high speed killing scores and injuring more on the Promenade des Anglais who were celebrating the Bastille Day national holiday, in Nice, in Nice, July 15, 2016. REUTERS/Eric Gaillard
A life-size copy of renown Michelangelo Buonarroti's David is diplayed supine, as a tribute to the victims of Nice attack, during a ceremony at Repubblica square in Florence, Italy (Maurizio Degl'Innocenti/ANSA Via AP)
People stand in front of the Rome's city hall, "Campidoglio" (Capitoline Hill) lit up in blue, white and red, the colors of the French flag, in tribute to the attack victims of Nice, in Rome, Italy, July 15, 2016. REUTERS/Tony Gentile
People gather to leave flowers in tribute to victims the day after a truck ran into a crowd at high speed killing scores and injuring more on the Promenade des Anglais who were celebrating the Bastille Day national holiday, in Nice, France, July 15, 2016. REUTERS/Eric Gaillard
An Israel woman takes a picture of the Tel Aviv city hall as it is lit up in the colors of the French flag in tribute to the attack victims of Nice, in Tel Aviv, Israel July 15, 2016. REUTERS/Baz Ratner
A Republican Guard pays respects after lowering the French national flag at half-mast at the Elysee Palace in Paris, France, July 15, 2016, the day after the Bastille Day truck attack in Nice. REUTERS/Philippe Wojazer
A man reacts near bouquets of flowers near the scene where a truck ran into a crowd at high speed killing scores and injuring more who were celebrating the Bastille Day national holiday, in Nice, France, July 15, 2016. REUTERS/Pascal Rossignol
Members of the Australian French community cry as they sing the French national anthem during a vigil in central Sydney, Australia, July 15, 2016 to remember the victims of the Bastille Day truck attack in Nice. REUTERS/David Gray
Members of the Australian French community cry as they sing the French national anthem during a vigil in central Sydney, Australia, July 15, 2016 to remember the victims of the Bastille Day truck attack in Nice. REUTERS/David Gray
Sylvie Bermann, France's Ambassador to the UK, speaks to the media outside the French Embassy in London, following the death of at least 84 people Hannah McKay/PA Wire
Armed soldiers patrol along the beach in Nice, France, July 15, 2016 the day after a truck ran into a crowd at high speed killing scores and injuring more who were celebrating the Bastille Day national holiday. REUTERS/Pascal Rossignol
People place candles in a circle during a vigil in a tribute to the victims of the Bastille Day tragedy, in Sydney, Australia, Friday, July 15, 2016. (AP Photo/Rob Griffith)
A woman places a candle during a vigil to honor victims of the Bastille Day tragedy in Nice, France, in Sydney, Australia, Friday, July 15, 2016. (AP Photo/Rob Griffith)
Members of the Australian French community place candles during a vigil in central Sydney, Australia, July 15, 2016, to remember the victims of the Bastille Day truck attack in Nice. REUTERS/David Gray
People place flowers to pay tribute to the victims of the Bastille Day truck attack in Nice, in front of the French embassy in Kiev, Ukraine, July 15, 2016. REUTERS/Gleb Garanich
Investigators continue to work at the scene near the heavy truck that ran into a crowd at high speed killing scores who were celebrating the Bastille Day July 14 national holiday on the Promenade des Anglais in Nice, France, July 15, 2016. REUTERS/Eric Gaillard
A woman places flowers to pay tribute to the victims of the Bastille Day truck attack in Nice, in front of the French embassy in Kiev, Ukraine, July 15, 2016. REUTERS/Gleb Garanich
A woman places flowers to pay tribute to the victims of the Bastille Day truck attack in Nice, in front of the French embassy in Kiev, Ukraine, July 15, 2016. REUTERS/Gleb Garanich
A man places flowers to pay tribute to the victims of the Bastille Day truck attack in Nice, in front of the French embassy in Kiev, Ukraine, July 15, 2016. REUTERS/Gleb Garanich
Members of the Australian French community stand around candles during a vigil in central Sydney, Australia, July 15, 2016, to remember the victims of the Bastille Day truck attack in Nice. REUTERS/David Gray
French Ambassador to Japan Thierry Dana (C) delivers a speech as French residents in Japan gather to mourn victims of the Bastille Day truck attack in Nice, at the official residence for the ambassador in Tokyo, Japan, July 15, 2016. REUTERS/Issei Kato
A French gendarme craft patrols along the coast in Nice, France July 15, 2016 the day after a truck ran into a crowd at high speed killing scores and injuring more who were celebrating the Bastille Day national holiday. REUTERS/Jean-Pierre Amet
French residents in Japan and French embassy staff gather to take a moment of silence to pay tribute to the victims of the Bastille Day truck attack in Nice, at the official residence for the French ambassador to Japan in Tokyo, Japan, July 15, 2016. REUTERS/Issei Kato
French residents in Japan gather to mourn victims of the Bastille Day truck attack in Nice, at the official residence for the French ambassador to Japan in Tokyo, Japan, July 15, 2016. REUTERS/Issei Kato
French residents in Japan and French embassy staff gather to take a moment of silence to pay tribute to the victims of the Bastille Day truck attack in Nice, at the official residence for the French ambassador to Japan in Tokyo, Japan, July 15, 2016. REUTERS/Issei Kato
Armed French police secure the entrance to the Pasteur Hospital the day after a truck ran into a crowd at high speed killing scores and injuring more who were celebrating the Bastille Day national holiday in Nice, France, July 15, 2016. REUTERS/Jean-Pierre Amet
French police secure the area as the investigation continues at the scene near the heavy truck that ran into a crowd at high speed killing scores who were celebrating the Bastille Day July 14 national holiday on the Promenade des Anglais in Nice, France, July 15, 2016. REUTERS/Eric Gaillard
Handout photo taken with permission from the twitter feed of Cheshire East Council (@CheshireEast) of Councillor Peter Groves with the French flag which will be flown at half-mast todayCheshire East Council/PA Wire
French police secure the area as the investigation continues at the scene near the heavy truck that ran into a crowd at high speed killing scores who were celebrating the Bastille Day July 14 national holiday on the Promenade des Anglais in Nice, France, July 15, 2016. REUTERS/Eric Gaillard
French President Francois Hollande leaves the Elysee Palace in Paris, France, July 15, 2016, after attending an emergency defence meeting the day after the Bastille Day truck attack in Nice. REUTERS/Philippe Wojazer
French President Francois Hollande leaves the Elysee Palace in Paris, France, July 15, 2016, after attending an emergency defence meeting the day after the Bastille Day truck attack in Nice. REUTERS/Philippe Wojazer
A woman places a candle during a vigil to honor victims of the Bastille Day tragedy in Nice, France. (AP Photo/Rob Griffith)

“It’s sad. You can feel sadness. There is a lot of security. It’s hard to describe, you can feel the sadness in the air.”

“Since the Paris attacks last year security in Nice has been really high. After the Euros in Nice too it’s been very good. The emergency services acted so quickly last night, it was amazing. It was impressive how quickly they reacted; they were on the streets within minutes. There’s going to be more security brought in now for the next few weeks and months."

Meanwhile, Dermot Mulhall, who is originally from Kilkenny but living in Nice for the last three years, said he was a couple of blocks away from Promenade des Anglais when the tragic events occurred.

Mr Mulhall said a large group of his friends were all attending the celebrations and fireworks last night, but he decided to stay away. 

Dermot Mulhall, who has been living in Nice for three years.
Dermot Mulhall, who has been living in Nice for three years.

He could hear the crowd’s screams when he got a phone call from a friend telling him not to come near the area.

“We heard screaming. That was the first thing we heard, which would be unusual here for that time of night. It’s unusual to see mass running and screaming.”

“There was a group of friends down there watching it and the plan was to go there and sit down on the beach.”

“Straight away the phone rang and it was one of my friends who had been on the upper end of the promenade.”

“She rang to know ‘was I on it?’, something was after happening, and wanted to know ‘was I Ok?’ She said ‘stay away from it, we don’t know what’s happening’. She headed home straight away.”

For the next few hours, Mr Mulhall and his friends were reaching out to all their friends to make sure everyone was safe and accounted for.

“The next couple of hours was basically making sure everyone was OK. We made contact with almost everyone by 3am.”

 “It came through a few minutes later a police officer had informed a friend of an attack.”

Last night, from about 11.30pm, Nice’s streets were deathly quiet, which would never happen on Bastille Day – which Mr Mulhall described as “France’s St Patrick’s Day”.

“It’s Paddy’s Day to them. There would have been a huge amount of people on the beach with picnics and bottles of wine.”

“The Mayor of the region asked us all to stay in. It was immediately alerted. The streets went very quiet afterwards. People took the message, everyone stayed in, Bastille Day would never be that quiet.”

“I was walking at 7.30am today and it does make you look over your shoulder as you’re walking along. Around 11.30pm last night the streets were emptied.”

Meanwhile, Taoiseach Enda Kenny issued a statement to condemn last night's attack.

“I am deeply shocked and saddened at this horrific attack in Nice. Once again innocent people have been targeted at an occasion of joy and celebration. French people have suffered appallingly and have again been the victim of cynical, and wanton violence,” Mr Kenny said.

“We cannot and will not yield to the malevolence.”

“On behalf of myself, the Government and the Irish people I want to express our deepest sympathies and our solidarity to President Hollande and to all of France.”

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