Cork survivor of Paris attacks criticises comedian’s phone ban

A Corkman who was shot during the Paris terror attacks has spoken about how having access to a mobile phone saved lives on the night.

His comments come after comedian Chris Rock announced his 3Arena gig later this month will be Ireland’s first strictly phone free event. Everyone attending will have to place their phone in a bespoke Yondr Pouch, which can only be unlocked in the lobby, for the duration of the show.

But David from Cork called into the Moncrieff Show on Newstalk to recount his experience in the Bataclan Theatre where 90 people lost their lives in November 2015.

He said that having access to a device saved lives in Paris.

“I was able to use my phone, Katie (David’s wife) was trying to ring emergency services and contact home to let people know we were alive, even before it was on the news. Having access to the phone initially was very helpful,” said David.

“The survivors and people who were in the venue longer were able to contact the police with their phones, texting and making contact with people outside. If those people that night weren’t able to let police outside know what was going on... then there was a negotiation between the police and the terrorists, so they were able to communicate. Having phone access that night could’ve saved lives.”

David was shot in his foot before escaping the venue before the hostage situation started.

“I was shot in my left foot. We managed to escape – an emergency door opened near the back of the venue and it was only once I was outside that I realised I’d been properly shot in the foot. Adrenaline got me outside but once I was outside, the pain started and I realised what had happened.”

David added that a very kind doctor saved his life that night by stemming the bleeding: “If I didn’t get to that area, I would probably have bled to death that night, even though I got out, because the emergency services were overwhelmed by the attacks.”

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