Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 20 September 2014

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

Archive photo of Fiachra O'Luaine from Carndonagh, Co. Donegal, on the Rachel Corrie
Irish activist Shane Dillon arrives back at Dublin Airport after he was deported from Israel following a commando raid on the Gaza aid flotilla
Palestinian members of the Hamas naval police and civilian defense officers ride a boat at Gaza port during a display of their preparations ahead of the expected arrival of a flotilla of hundreds of pro-Palestinian activists trying to sail into the Gaza Strip, in Gaza city, Friday, May 28

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.

COMMENT RULES: Comments that are judged to be defamatory, abusive or in bad taste are not acceptable and contributors who consistently fall below certain criteria will be permanently blacklisted. The moderator will not enter into debate with individual contributors and the moderator’s decision is final. It is Belfast Telegraph policy to close comments on court cases, tribunals and active legal investigations. We may also close comments on articles which are being targeted for abuse. Problems with commenting? customercare@belfasttelegraph.co.uk

Latest News

Latest Sport

Latest Showbiz