Kenny’s ‘horror’ at Irish deaths in Tunisia massacre

Taoiseach Enda Kenny has expressed his “sadness and horror” at the murders of three Irish tourists who were killed during last week’s terrorist attack on a holiday resort in Tunisia.

A minute’s silence was held in the Dáil yesterday, after condolences and messages of sympathy were expressed on all sides of the house for the victims.

Mr Kenny said he had spoken with British prime minister David Cameron, who had agreed that officials from both countries would co-operate on the ground in Tunisia in the wake of the mass killings, which also included the murder of 30 British citizens.

The names of the Irish victims have been confirmed as Lorna Carty, Laurence Hayes, and Martina Hayes.

Mr Kenny said: “On behalf of the Government and the people of Ireland, I want to express my sadness and horror at the deaths of Lorna Carty and Martina and Laurence Hayes — go ndéanfaidh Dia trócaire orthu.

“I know I speak for the House and the country when I say that our hearts go out to the three of them and to all those who loved them in their lives and who mourn them so deeply in death.”

He said condolences were being sent to the families of victims in Britain. He also said: “Equally, we stand with the people of Tunisia, who feel shocked and betrayed. This attack was an act of hatred. It was a rejection of the values of respect, equality, and freedom which we hold so dear.”

The Taoiseach pledged to fight against Islamic State and any threat of future terrorist attacks, “We will also work with our partners to end the threat of Isis, with its savagery and hatred,” he said. “I assured the prime minister that, in respect of interception of communications, we will co-operate where we can within the law.”

Tánaiste Joan Burton told the Dáil the deaths were marked yesterday by flying the flag at half-mast over Leinster House and Government buildings.

While recalling fond memories of travelling to Tunisia a decade ago, Ms Burton also warned Irish tourists to be careful there. “I also echo the advice from the Department of Foreign Affairs for Irish people currently in Tunisia, or those planning to visit, to be vigilant,” she said.

Commenting on the Irish victims, Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin said: “It is horrific to think of the suddenness and appalling shocking circumstances of how Lorna was barbarically and ruthlessly murdered and taken from her beloved family.

“She was a nurse who spent her lifetime looking after others in her community. Not far from Lorna on the beach were Larry and Martina Hayes. They were also enjoying their holiday and were brutally murdered in broad daylight as they were sunbathing.

“They were a popular, well-liked, and well-known couple from Athlone and their only daughter Sinéad is now left without her beloved parents. It is too shocking to comprehend.”

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