Monday 21 January 2019

Irish still stranded as rescue continues

DOZENS of Irish people remain stranded in Tripoli as a second Irish aircraft dramatically rescued a young family of five, including a baby who'd just been delivered by caesarean.

An Irish delegation is now securing the safe exit of the 44 expats who have been unable to get out of the country on European flights.

The diplomats, led by Irish ambassador to Rome Patrick Hennessy, are negotiating with Libyan authorities for them to allow an Air Corps Casa aircraft to land in Tripoli and fly out the 26 Irish citizens still in the city.

"The Libyans allowed the evacuation because it was a medical emergency, unlike the previous evening's attempt to evacuate Irish citizens [when the aircraft returned empty]," a source said.

Dubliner Linda Nolan (48) arrived back to her Meath home yesterday after a 20-hour ordeal at Tripoli airport.

Like many returning expat staff, the oil worker praised the general manager of Mercury Engineering, David Breen, for his assistance on the ground but claimed that little information was provided by the Department of Foreign Affairs.

"My family would sometimes email me as articles got published with statements from the department but we had very little idea about the evacuation," she said.

"Last year, we met the Irish ambassador for Rome, Pat Hennessy. He would have had a contact list for us but we never heard from him." Meanwhile, two Irish people were rescued from the port of Benghazi this morning on a British ship.


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