Monday 15 October 2018

Relief as aid workers freed

The kidnapped Irish aid worker Sharon Commins has been released from captivity in Darfur.

The 32-year-old from Dublin was freed along with her Ugandan colleague Hilda Kawuki overnight.

An Taoiseach Brian Cowen and the Minister for Foreign Affairs Micheál Martin have expressed their relief and delight at the news this morning.

The two GOAL aid workers were kidnapped from their compound by armed bandits in July and held for more than a hundred days.

Intense diplomatic efforts to secure their release have been on going and Minister Martin said it's been a very difficult time for all involved,

"I spoke with the Commins family earlier this morning they're over the moon obviously and very, very relieved.

"I mean I would've met them very regularly during this and been out to the house on a number of occasions and I know first hand how difficult this was for them and now that worry about their daughter is over and they're very happy indeed."

Both women have been seen by health experts and are said to be in good spirits. GOAL has said that no ransom was paid for their release.

Chief Executive John O'Shea said he can't believe the news this morning,

"I'm just overwhelmed with a sense of relief because we were beginning to give up hope. Happily now all is well.

"They're on a plane now they'll be taken by the Sudanese government to Khartoum and hopefully very soon after that Hilda will return to Kampala and likewise Sharon will come back to her loving family in Clontarf."


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