Sunday 25 August 2019

Paris Terror Attacks: Irish people caught up in attacks tell of their experience

PARIS, FRANCE - NOVEMBER 13: Policemen patrol the streets during gunfire near the Bataclan concert hall on November 13, 2015 in Paris, France. Gunfire and explosions in multiple locations erupted in the French capital with early casualty reports indicating at least 60 dead. (Photo by Antoine Antoniol/Getty Images)
PARIS, FRANCE - NOVEMBER 13: Policemen patrol the streets during gunfire near the Bataclan concert hall on November 13, 2015 in Paris, France. Gunfire and explosions in multiple locations erupted in the French capital with early casualty reports indicating at least 60 dead. (Photo by Antoine Antoniol/Getty Images)
PARIS, FRANCE - NOVEMBER 13: Policemen patrol the streets during gunfire near the Bataclan concert hall on November 13, 2015 in Paris, France. Gunfire and explosions in multiple locations erupted in the French capital with early casualty reports indicating at least 60 dead. (Photo by Antoine Antoniol/Getty Images)

Rachel Lavin

A number of Irish people are in Paris last night and have told us their accounts of what they have experienced.

Sisi O'Driscoll, 23, from Kildare who is currently working in Paris said: "My apartment is five to ten minutes away from the shooting and hostage situation.

"Luckily I was out working at an event and stayed in the bar as we were advised by police and passers-by to stay put because we're not far from where everything was happening.

"Then the news cut through the football [the international friendly between France and Germany at Stade de France]. I think that's when people knew something serious had happened.

Forensic experts inspect the site of an attack, a restaurant outside the Stade de France stadium in Saint-Denis, north of Paris, early on November 14, 2015, after a series of gun attacks occurred across Paris as well as explosions outside the national stadium where France was hosting Germany. A number of people were killed and others injured in a series of gun attacks across Paris, as well as explosions outside the national stadium where France was hosting Germany. AFP PHOTO / FRANCK FIFEFRANCK FIFE/AFP/Getty Images
Forensic experts inspect the site of an attack, a restaurant outside the Stade de France stadium in Saint-Denis, north of Paris, early on November 14, 2015, after a series of gun attacks occurred across Paris as well as explosions outside the national stadium where France was hosting Germany. A number of people were killed and others injured in a series of gun attacks across Paris, as well as explosions outside the national stadium where France was hosting Germany. AFP PHOTO / FRANCK FIFEFRANCK FIFE/AFP/Getty Images
Rescue workers evacuate a woman near the Bataclan concert hall in central Paris, on November 13, 2015. A number of people were killed and others injured in a series of gun attacks across Paris, as well as explosions outside the national stadium where France was hosting Germany. AFP PHOTO / DOMINIQUE FAGETDOMINIQUE FAGET/AFP/Getty Images

"They announced a state of emergency and the closure of the borders.

"Then my managers, family and everyone started calling.

Forensic experts inspect the site of an attack, a restaurant outside the Stade de France stadium in Saint-Denis, north of Paris, late on November 13, 2015, after a series of gun attacks occurred across Paris as well as explosions outside the national stadium where France was hosting Germany. A number of people were killed and others injured in a series of gun attacks across Paris, as well as explosions outside the national stadium where France was hosting Germany. AFP PHOTO / FRANCK FIFEFRANCK FIFE/AFP/Getty Images
Forensic experts inspect the site of an attack, a restaurant outside the Stade de France stadium in Saint-Denis, north of Paris, late on November 13, 2015, after a series of gun attacks occurred across Paris as well as explosions outside the national stadium where France was hosting Germany. A number of people were killed and others injured in a series of gun attacks across Paris, as well as explosions outside the national stadium where France was hosting Germany. AFP PHOTO / FRANCK FIFEFRANCK FIFE/AFP/Getty Images

"I stayed there for a while and then moved to a McDonald's because I needed to get out of there. And then they shut the McDonald's early so I went back to the bar and then my hotel was booked by my Irish manager so I'm here now.

"I'm about 15 minutes from where everything is happening now in a hotel.

Investigators work outside a bar near the Stade de France where explosions were reported to have detonated outside the stadium during the France vs German friendly soccer match near Paris, November 13, 2015. REUTERS/Gonazlo Fuentes
Investigators work outside a bar near the Stade de France where explosions were reported to have detonated outside the stadium during the France vs German friendly soccer match near Paris, November 13, 2015. REUTERS/Gonazlo Fuentes
Police stand outside the Stade de France where explosions were reported to have detonated outside the stadium during the France vs German friendly soccer match near Paris, November 13, 2015. REUTERS/Benoit Tessier

"One of my friends is stuck in a restaurant nearby

"The whole thing happened so quickly, I think the city is just in shock and disbelief.

"And reports over 100 hostages are now dead... It's unbelievable."

Fionnuala Egan, 20, is a Trinity College student on Erasmus in Paris with nine other Irish students.

A man lies on the ground as French police check his identity near the Bataclan concert hall following fatal shootings in Paris, France, November 13, 2015. The man was later released after his identity was verified. REUTERS/Christian Hartmann
A man lies on the ground as French police check his identity near the Bataclan concert hall following fatal shootings in Paris, France, November 13, 2015. The man was later released after his identity was verified. REUTERS/Christian Hartmann

"We are in Ivry sur Seine, which is in the south of Paris, about 20 minutes from the centre.

"We are just in our apartment watching the news and obviously glued to our phones.

"The street is quiet, nothing much happening here.

"Everyone is sitting up. I feel shaken, I genuinely don't want to leave the apartment now. I don't know if we'll have college on Monday but the idea of taking the Metro makes me feel so nervous.

"I was so so happy here but I really do feel unsafe now. It is amazing to have such an influx of support from everyone at home though."

Daniel Darby, 23 from Donegal, a PHD student from Trinity College currently working in Paris said;

"I'm working in the Imagine Institute in Montparnasse. I went for drinks near the Pantheon but saw nothing out of the ordinary there and just heard about all this as I got home.

"There are a lot of sirens going off across the city. It's kind of chilling. Its a bit surreal. I'm more worried about the wider implications of this, the global response, especially with the US weighing so quickly. It kind of feels like an ending to the world we knew.

Berenice Jond, a 26 year old living in France says...

"I was at the movies when it started so came out and saw tens of texts, calls and fb messages. Went directly home and tried to see if my friends were ok. They're all safe even the ones living close by but we are all in shock... Not able to understand, angry at those who did this, angry at some people for using the event to spread hatred and racism,... Seems like a new 7/01 all over again..."

Read more here:

Paris Terror Attacks: President Francois Hollande's address to the French people 

Paris terror attacks: Lights out on Eiffel Tower as mark of respect as Paris gripped by horror

Video: French fans sang La Marseillaise as they were evacuated from the Stade de France

Paris Terror Attacks: Mick Wallace sparks anger on Twitter over Paris terror attacks tweet 

Paris Terror Attacks: 'Three men with Kalashnikovs burst in and just started spraying bullets'

Paris Terror Attacks: 118 people killed in Bataclan concert hall, three hostage takers among the dead

Paris terror attacks: French and German football stars watch shocking events unfold at Stade de France

Paris terror attacks: What we know about the seven separate incidents so far

Paris Terror Attacks: French president Francois Hollande declares state of emergency and closes borders

Paris terror attacks: President Obama says attacks are 'an attack on all of humanity' 

Paris terror attacks: Ireland's department of foreign affairs sets up helpline for anyone wishing to register concern 

Online Editors

Today's news headlines, directly to your inbox every morning.

Editors Choice

Also in World News