Monday 19 March 2018

Minister pays tribute to Brazilian air crash victims and confirms no Irish involved

Foreign Affairs Minister Charlie Flanagan Photo: Tom Burke
Foreign Affairs Minister Charlie Flanagan Photo: Tom Burke Newsdesk Newsdesk

Foreign Affairs Minister Charlie Flanagan has revealed that he is "deeply saddened" to learn of the Colombian air disaster.

In a statement to the media Mr Flanagan confirmed that no Irish were among the 76 deceased or five survivors.

He said: "I would like to express my condolences to the families and loved ones of those who lost their lives in the incident. Our thoughts are with them and also with those reported injured in the crash, to whom I wish a full recovery."

He explained that there was an "added poignancy" to this incident given that on board were the players and staff of the Chapoconese football club from Brazil, who were travelling to Medellín to play in the first leg of the Copa Sudamericana final against Colombian side Atlético Nacional.

“This is a tragedy for those most immediately affected but also for the people of Brazil, where football lies at the core of their national identity. On behalf of the people of Ireland I would like to extend our condolences also to the people of Brazil.

“There are no reports of any Irish being involved in the incident but our Embassy in Brazil, as well as our Embassy in Mexico, which is accredited to Colombia, are in contact with the relevant authorities to confirm that this is the situation.”

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