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Beach attack Irish victims mourned

Published 28/06/2015

Three Irish people are believed to have died in the Tunisia attack (AP)
Three Irish people are believed to have died in the Tunisia attack (AP)
Foreign Affairs minister Charlie Flanagan said consul support was being provided to the affected families

Tributes have been paid to the three Irish victims of the Tunisia beach massacre.

Mother-of-two, Lorna Carty, from Robinstown, Co Meath, and married couple Laurence and Martina Hayes, both aged in their 50s, from the town of Athlone in Co Westmeath died in Friday's gun attack in Sousse.

Mrs Carty's death was confirmed in the wake of the atrocity. Today came confirmation that Mr and Mrs Hayes had also been killed.

Foreign Affairs minister Charlie Flanagan confirmed the news that the Hayes family had already been warned to expect.

"I can sadly state that two additional Irish citizens have lost their lives in the terrorist attack in Sousse in Tunisia," he said.

"I want to offer condolences to the families."

The minister said he was not aware of concerns about any other Irish citizens.

"I myself have been in contact with family members of the citizens who I understand and believe have lost their lives," he added.

"It is a particularly sad and difficult time for the families."

Mr Flanagan urged anyone from Ireland intending to travel to Tunisia to exercise "extreme caution".

Mr Hayes worked for transport company Bus Eireann for the last 20 years. He was a schools transport inspector.

A spokeswoman said the company was aware of reports of the couple's death.

"The company wish to extend its deepest sympathies and condolences to the family and friends of Larry Hayes and his wife Martina," she said.

The spokeswoman said Mr Hayes was "highly regarded on both a personal and professional level, by all his colleagues at Bus Eireann".

She added: "Our thoughts and prayers are with the couple's daughter at this difficult time, and all the extended family."

Co Westmeath GAA tweeted a message of condolence to the family. "Sincere sympathy to the Hayes family Athlone who suffered their tragic losses in the terror shooting in Tunisia," it said.

Bishop of Meath Michael Smith paid tribute to Mrs Carty. He said she was the victim of a " senseless killing".

"Lorna worked here in Navan in one of the medical centres and is known to, and loved by, very many people," he said.

"The brutal circumstances of Lorna's death are sadly becoming more frequent."

He added: "We extend our sympathy and our prayers to Lorna's husband Declan, to her children Simon and Hazel and extended family and friends."

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