The young Louth woman who survived the Bataclan massacre paid an emotional tribute to the “love of her life” for saving her.
Katie Healy said the only reason she is alive is because her boyfriend, David Nolan, 32, from Millstreet, Co Cork, lay across her to protect her when the terrorists opened fire in the crowded venue on Friday , spraying music fans with bullets and killing 89 people.
“He’s an extraordinary person,” Katie said.
“Many peoples’ instinct would be to save yourself but his instinct was to save me, above everything else. And he did that.
“There wasn’t a time through this whole ordeal that David hasn’t thought of me.
"He never thought of himself. He is injured, he’s in extreme pain, and he’s traumatised but he’s strong beyond belief and I’m here because of him.”
Katie gave more harrowing details of the atrocity in an interview on The Pat Kenny Show on Newstalk yesterday.
She said she and David had been enjoying the Eagles of Death Metal show with a group of 1,000 people when the gunmen entered through doors behind them and opened fire.
“Cowards walked into that theatre and shot the people I was admiring,” she said.
“It was such a wonderful show, an atmosphere full of fun and love, and that ended in needless bloodshed for no reason.”
She said that as people close to them began falling, they both fell to the ground too, telling each other to stay calm and to play dead.
Katie said the gunfire seemed to go on forever before there was a pause, followed by single shots as the gunmen walked through the dead and injured where they lay.
“They were walking, popping off people one by one. We could hear their footsteps,” Katie said.
“I saw a gunman’s foot right beside us. I could feel the floor vibrate, and people lose their lives, the place was just palpable with death.
"You could taste it, there was so much blood.”
She said she thought of her family and her parents, and told David, who was lying over her head and chest, that she loved him.
The couple finally made a run for it, jumping over dead bodies to reach a door where armed police were about to storm the building.
It was only then she realised that David had been shot in one of his legs.
He underwent surgery on Saturday and is in a serious but stable condition but is expected to recover from his injuries.
Family members have flown to Paris to be at his bedside.
Students in Millstreet Community School, where David was a pupil, observed a minute’s silence for the victims and offered prayers for his recovery.
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