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Irish on Rachel Corrie ship ‘nervous and scared’ as they near Gaza coast

Irish citizens on board the last ship in the now-disbanded Middle East aid flotilla last night said they did not want to become “heroes or martyrs” as their voyage takes them nearer and nearer to the coast of Gaza.

“We don't want to be heroes or martyrs, but we have to keep going ahead,” Jenny Graham from Ballina, Co Mayo, said. The Irish-owned MV Rachel Corrie, carrying 1,000 tonnes of aid, continued its lonely journey and was last night about 530 miles from the coast of Gaza, where it expects to be intercepted by the Israeli Navy.

On board the 1,200-tonne vessel are 19 people — five Irish and six Malaysian passengers together with a crew of eight.

“We are nervous. We are scared. We are regular people. We don't want to be heroes or martyrs, but we have to keep going,” Ms Graham said.

“People are anxious but we are not turning back unless we really, really have to.”

Ms Graham, who is with her husband Graham, Nobel Peace Laureate Mairead Corrigan Maguire, former UN assistant secretary general Denis Halliday and filmmaker Fiona Thompson, said they expected to reach Gaza's 30-mile limit tomorrow or early Saturday.

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