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Now formally identified, the three Irish victims of the Tunisia attack can come home

Lorna Carty, Larry Hayes and Martina Hayes all died in the terror attack.

A book of condolence for husband and wife Laurence and Martina Hayes.
A book of condolence for husband and wife Laurence and Martina Hayes.
Image: PA WIRE

Updated 8.14 pm

TAOISEACH ENDA KENNY has said the terror attack in Tunisia that killed 38 people, including three Irish citizens, was “an act of hatred”.

His comments come as the couple who died in last Friday’s attack were officially identified as Larry and Martina Hayes from Athlone.

The couple had been widely named but official confirmation was only made today as Tunisian authorities insisted on medical evidence before the confirmation was made.

It means that the three Irish victims of the attack have now been officially confirmed after the earlier naming of Meath mother-of-two Lorna Carty.

It is hoped that the remains of the three victims will be repatriated tomorrow.

The deaths of the three were remembered in the Dáil and Seanad today as flags flew at half-mast.

The Taoiseach expressed his “sadness and horror”:

Nothing we can say or do can make up for their loss. But to Declan, Simon and Sinead Carty and to Sinead Hayes and the extended Carty and Hayes families we offer what we can at this difficult time: our solidarity, our thoughts and our prayers,” the Taoiseach said ahead of a minute silence.

Today, I want to send the condolences of the Irish people to the families in the UK and across the world who lost their loved ones. 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.

In a statement at the weekend, Bus Éireann had expressed its sympathy to the Hayes family. Larry worked for the company as a school transport inspector.

Larry is highly regarded on both a personal and professional level, by all his colleagues at Bus Éireann. Our thoughts and prayers are with the couple’s daughter at this difficult time, and all the extended family.

Taoiseach Enda Kenny says he spoke to UK Prime Minister David Cameron this morning to discuss the killings, 30 British citizens died in the attack.

“We will be working together to do all we can to protect the freedom and security we hold dear,” Kenny said of his conversation with his UK counterpart.

Tánaiste Joan Burton described the attack as a “senseless act of terrorism”.

“No cause, no ideology, no purpose is served by such random killing and murder,” she said.

- With reporting by Michelle Hennessey 

Read: ‘Grave concern’ for two more Irish citizens caught up in Tunisia terror attack>

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Rónán Duffy

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