London-Irish man with first pictures from inside Grenfell: 'No words' for scenes of horror

By Amy Ryan

A London-Irish man who distributed the first photographs from inside Grenfell tower said "there are no words" to describe how he felt when he saw the pictures for the first time.

"The air is sucked out of you," he said.

Declan Wilkes, who was raised in Quilty, West Clare said that emotions are running high in London right now. He said "frustration, anger and grief" being felt by the families and the community.

"Things are quite surreal here. Londoners are tough though.

"It's a tight-knit area, everyone has a connection. There's so many questions and no answers," he said.

Mr Wilkes confirmed that he did not take the photographs. They were taken by a close friend who wishes to remain anonymous.

Mr Wilkes has been living in London for 10 years. After studying journalism in City University in London, he worked in media for several years before getting a communications job with a charity.

On the recent incidents that have hit London city, the 33-year-old said: "City life goes on but every siren and breaking news alert does result in a pause, and a momentary glaze casts over folks eyes as we sup our pints and exchange nervous glances."

"People from home [in Ireland] are worried, there are more calls and questions about where we are going at the weekend."

"But they know we have to live our lives," he added.

Click play to watch a gallery of the photos from inside Grenfell tower


Related Articles

Memorial service will mark six months since Grenfell Tower tragedy

Final death toll from Grenfell Tower fire reaches 70 plus stillborn baby

High-rise blaze in Belfast causes fears of another Grenfell

Only 26 of 203 Grenfell families living in permanent homes, minister reveals

More in this Section

'All I want is to see her,' says sister of pensioner Rosie Hanrahan found dead in Limerick

Gardaí find body of Limerick man missing since Tuesday

Motorist in Clare trapped in car for an hour as emergency services search for her

Celbridge on alert as lucky EuroMillions player wins €500,000


Today's Stories

Protesters raise concerns over newly opened asylum centre in Killarney

Jerry McCabe’s garda son successfully appeals assault conviction

‘Electrical appliances a fire risk when you’re out of house’, says senior fireman

Defilement left vulnerable teenager ‘in a very dark place’

Lifestyle

Review: N.E.R.D - No One Ever Really Dies: Their finest album to date

Everyone's mad at Google - Sundar Pichai has to fix it

Scenes from the analogue city - Memories of Limerick from the late 80s and early 90s

Ask Audrey: 'I heard that Viagra fumes from Pfizer’s were causing stiffys below in Ringaskiddy'

More From The Irish Examiner