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Wednesday 27 September 2023 Dublin: 13°C
# Terror Attack
'The hotel resort had become a war zone' - Irish man who lost his wife in Tunisian terror attack
Declan Carty told Ryan Tubridy on last night’s Late Late Show about that day.

The Late Late Show / YouTube

THE HUSBAND OF an Irish woman killed in a terrorist attack in Tunisia says the holiday resort became “a war zone” on the day his wife was shot.

Declan Carty went looking for his wife after a gunman went on a killing spree that claimed 38 lives. Three Irish people were killed in the attack, Carty’s wife Lorna (54) and Laurence (56) and Martina Hayes (55) from Athlone, Co Westmeath.

Carty told Ryan Tubridy on last night’s Late Late Show about that day.

“There was seven or eight of us by the lift and next thing there was a crash of glass and bullets ricocheting around the place.”

He said he knew something was wrong following the attack when his wife wasn’t anywhere to be found following the attack.

“I knew if Lorna could have been there at all she would have been there because she would have been worried about me with the heart condition I have. I knew if she was mobile at all, she would have come looking for me. I waited maybe ten minutes or so and said “I’m going” and headed to the beach.

“On the way out I crossed bodies, but someone had covered them with a towel.

“The blood was running around – it had gone from a holiday resort to a warzone.”

After reaching the beach, Declan said that he found Martina Hayes’ body under a towel. He and his wife had met the Hayes family while on holiday.

“I thought, ‘what am I going to do here? Am I going to lift the cover off all these people?’ and then I thought – the towel.

“I knew she was down on the beach and I looked down and saw the towel – it was a blue striped towel. I saw her body on the sunbed. My worst fears were at that stage.

“I lifted the towel and it was Lorna and she had been shot in the chest, so she was just lying in the sun – oblivious to it all.”

Declan said that the presence of people taking photos meant that he couldn’t grieve in peace. He said he lay down next to his wife and grieved.

Later in the interview, Declan read “That Day”, a poem by Ray Hegarty who was also present when the attack happened.

The Late Late Show / YouTube

A Dublin Coroner’s Court jury this week returned verdicts of unlawful killing for all three deaths and recommended that a link to a Department of Foreign Affairs smartphone App alerting tourists to risks associated with travel abroad be permanently displayed on all travel websites and form an integral part of all travel bookings from now on.

In a statement after the inquest, the Carty and Hayes families said no words could express their pain.

Read: Husband of Irish woman shot dead while on holiday in Tunisia found her beneath a beach towel

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