FOURTEEN casualties of the Libyan conflict have arrived in Ireland to undergo treatment for injuries they sustained during the fight to overthrow Colonel Muammar Gaddafi.
The wounded arrived in Shannon shortly after 5.20pm yesterday on a flight from Tunisia via France accompanied by a doctor. The men will undergo surgery for a range of traumatic injuries including gunshot and shrapnel wounds.
As many as 70 well-wishers from the Libyan community in Ireland, including children carrying flags and banners, gathered at Shannon from early afternoon to welcome their countrymen. Many bought gifts from airport shops.
Mohmud Abdullah Albrbar, 21, speaking through a translator, said: “I had some concerns coming here but after seeing all the people who came out, I am very happy to be here. I have gunshot wounds and I was also injured by a missile and my wounds are a few months old. I am happy to be here.”
Dr Amina Gsel, a Galway-based consultant rheumatologist and director of the Libyan Health Office of Ireland, said: “These men are the freedom fighters who freed our country. There are mostly young professionals including doctors and engineers and we are delighted that we can do something for them.”
The Libyan Health Office was established here in recent months to organise treatment and care for those injured in the effort to overthrow the Gaddafi regime. Four casualties will be treated at Barrington’s Hospital in Limerick, while three others were taken to Cappagh in Dublin. Seven will be treated at the Bon Secours hospital in Galway.
Bon Secours CEO Mr Gerry Burke said: “The injuries are mostly to the upper body and orthopaedic in nature and some will require surgical intervention. Other injuries may require plastic surgery.”
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