Sunday 18 August 2019

Editorial: We must get Irish in Libya home safely

THE current situation in Libya is incendiary and poses a real risk to foreigners working there. The chaotic street fighting in Tripoli and other cities has seen protesters battling Government forces with reports of an estimated 1,000 deaths.

Our Government acted decisively in sending two Air Corps planes to Malta to evacuate around 70 Irish citizens from Tripoli.

Unfortunately, when an Air Corps CASA plane landed last night, Libyan security officials prevented it from picking up any Irish nationals.

Libya is the latest in a string of Middle Eastern countries where Irish people have been caught up in popular revolts. Given our emigration diaspora, it is perhaps inevitable that Irish people will be found wherever trouble erupts. Some nations have already evacuated their citizens while others, like Ireland, are still trying to do so.

It is a worrying time for relatives but let's hope the Air Corps rescue mission is successfully completed soon.

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