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Tuesday 6 June 2023 Dublin: 13°C
Gerald Herbert/PA Images People sitting during a candlelit vigil for the victims of the shooting.
# Parkland
'It was maybe 30 minutes, but it felt like 3 hours': Irish family caught up in Florida attack
A classmate of Adelina Hurley’s was killed in the mass shooting.

AN IRISH FAMILY has described how they were caught up in Wednesday’s mass shooting at a school in Florida, which killed 17.

Adelina Hurley had only enrolled at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland a few months ago after the family relocated from Clontarf and her mother Olga described the panic and fear she felt as she tried to contact her daughter on the day.

She told RTÉ’s Morning Ireland: “It was a normal day. I’d been to visit my parents and on the way back I decided to stop by the school because my daughter was finishing at that time.

Within a few seconds, police cars appeared from all directions… I knew something was happening. I phoned my daughter, and she didn’t answer. I text her to see if she’d get back and she eventually did. She phone me and just said she was running.

Adelina said that it had been just 10 minutes from the end of the school day when the fire alarm went off.

“Everyone just assumed it was a normal fire drill,” the 16-year-old said. “But then the teacher started to look worried.

They told us to run in different directions… It was really scary. Everyone was running and screaming and crying.

Olga said that when she spoke to her on the phone, she told her daughter to keep running because, at this stage, the shooter had not yet been caught. She described herself as being “in a panic”.

She said: “You don’t know what happened to her if you don’t hear her voice. Because I heard her voice, I had the hope I would see her.

That feeling of horror only sinks in in your head later. This could be us. All those people. I can’t describe how I felt. It was only maybe 30-40 minutes, but it felt three or four hours. I was scared. She was scared.

When they were eventually reunited, Olga said she was overwhelmed with relief. “It’s a gift, a blessing,” she said.

Adelina added that she thinks everyone at the school will be able to overcome. “It’ll be okay,” she said.

Olga has since confirmed that it was one of Adelina’s classmates who was among the 17 who died in the shooting.

Comments are closed because the case remains before the courts, and the man charged has not yet been sentenced.

Read: FBI received tip off before Florida shooting but failed to stop teen from killing 17

Read: For school gun massacre survivors, fear and grief takes hold