Saturday 24 August 2019

Paris Terror Attacks: Irishman barricaded himself into room as gunmen struck Bataclan

Nora Hickey
Nora Hickey

Adam Cullen

An employee at the Irish Cultural Centre in Paris was trapped for hours in the Bataclan theatre when gunmen tore through the building.

Director of the centre Nora Hickey said the young man did not want to be publicly named following his ordeal.

Speaking on his behalf, Ms Hickey said the "widely loved employee" was recovering well but was still coming to terms with the horror.

"We knew that he had gone to the concert so when we got news of what was happening we were desperately trying to reach him.

"Thankfully, he got a text out. Luckily, he was standing on the balcony when the gunmen burst through. He managed to make his way into the artists' green room which is a very small room. He was in there with about 30 other people.

"They barricaded the door with sofas and fridges and thankfully managed to keep them out. They heard the gunshots. It is hard to think what they must have been going through."

Ms Hickey added that the man, who is in his 30s, revealed that the group faced a terrifying dilemma when they heard a knock on the door from someone professing to be a policeman.

Unbeknown to the terrified concert goers, they could have been just inches away from death if they had made a split-second decision to open the door.

"There was still gunshots and bangs going on downstairs so thank god they didn't open the door. One of the gunmen was at the other side.

"He said they just stayed quiet and hoped for the best. A short time later, they heard the explosions and shots.

"There was a call then and they knew it was the real police so they let themselves out."

Some 89 people were killed in the attack when Isil gunmen attacked the concert hall filled with 1,500 music fans.

Irish Independent

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