Saturday 21 October 2017

Irish PR boss Valerie Roe 'paralysed' by fear after she was caught up in Nice terror attacks

Denis Flannelly and Valerie Roe pictured at the Keith Duffy Foundation Charity Ball at Powerscourt Hotel in Enniskerry to raise funds for Irish Autism Action and Finn's First Steps Charities. Picture: Brian McEvoy
Denis Flannelly and Valerie Roe pictured at the Keith Duffy Foundation Charity Ball at Powerscourt Hotel in Enniskerry to raise funds for Irish Autism Action and Finn's First Steps Charities. Picture: Brian McEvoy
Melanie Finn

Melanie Finn

Irish PR agency owner Valerie Roe has revealed her devastation after she was caught up in the Nice attacks last night.

She was returning to her hotel, the Radisson Blu on the Promenade des Anglais last night when she and husband Denis Flannelly witnessed a scene of utter chaos.

“We were driving back to our hotel last night and we just caught the end of the fireworks as we were coming in. We just saw loads of people running towards the car, screaming. We had no clue what was going on. It was just mayhem,” she told the Herald.

“Denis got out of the car and spoke to the hotel concierge and he told us to go straight up to the room and stay there. Nobody had a clue what was happening. You could just see all the ambulances driving around and hear sirens going off.

Valerie Roe pictured at the 2015 Miss Ireland Final in the Crowne Plaza Northwood in association with Gold Fever and Crown Brush. Picture: Brian McEvoy.
Valerie Roe pictured at the 2015 Miss Ireland Final in the Crowne Plaza Northwood in association with Gold Fever and Crown Brush. Picture: Brian McEvoy.

“We went up to the balcony and could see everything going on so we stayed up watching it all on the news. There was some scaremongering then about hostages in hotels and everyone was saying just stay in your room. I was just paralysed in the bed.

“This morning, the staff in the hotel were ringing everyone in their rooms to see they got back safely.”

She said that this morning, the mood in Nice was one of shock and disbelief as news of the tragedy sank in.

“There’s army everywhere, army boats going up and down the seafront.  The streets and beaches are totally empty. There’s a horrible calm here today. I just feel sick. I’m devastated for their families and those kids that died. I just can’t imagine what’s happened, it’s beyond belief,” she said.

She’s over there with her teenage son Josh, who’s attending a tennis academy some 30 minutes drive away – but she’s keen to leave as soon as she can.

Aer Lingus has now laid on an extra flight from Nice Airport and she’s hoping to fly her family to safety tomorrow.

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)

Online Editors

Editors Choice

Also in World News