Irish teacher to Gaddafi's grandchildren forced out
An Irish teacher whose pupils included grandchildren of Colonel Muammar Gaddafi told yesterday how he was forced out of Libya without his belongings.
Liam Grant (24), from Newtowncunningham, Co Donegal, was a PE teacher at the elite International School of Martyrs in Tripoli, where the Irish school curriculum is taught. As luck would have it, Mr Grant was on a mid-term break in Malta when trouble erupted in the capital.
"We had a week off so nine of us had headed to Malta for a friend's birthday, but when we saw what was happening during the protests, (some of us) decided not to go back," he said.
Speaking from his home in north Donegal, he revealed some of the group had gone back to Tripoli but were forced to leave again.
A private fee-paying school, the International School of Martyrs was founded in 1958. Among its pupils are grand-children of Col Gaddafi, a grand-nephew of Saddam Hussein and children of diplomats, ambassadors and ministers.
Mr Grant said he was very concerned that his parents, Mary and Sean, knew he was all right. "When there was a virtual news blackout I knew my parents and friends back home would be concerned," he said.
The history and geography graduate from NUI Galway had to leave a suitcase full of clothing and other personal belongings behind, but said he was just glad to be home.
"There is no future for me in Libya. If Tripoli falls, I'm sure the school would no longer exist, as it has such links to the old regime," he said.