Irish man in Nice describes hearing gunshots during 'lockdown'

A woman looks on as police remain on the scene in Nice this morning
A woman looks on as police remain on the scene in Nice this morning

An Irish man living in Nice has told how he heard gunshots being fired on the streets while he was locked into a pub for safety for up to 40 minutes last night.

Ian Daly, a chef from Roscommon who lives and works in Nice, said he first knew something was wrong near Promenade Anglais when he saw huge crowds of people running towards him at a tram station.

Mr Daly arrived in Nice by tram from Cannes when he was met with the chaos.

“I got off the tram and there were hundreds and hundreds of people running towards the tram to get on for safety.”

As Ian made his way to Ma Nolan’s Irish pub in the city, the heaving crowd continued to run for cover. Once Mr Daly arrived at the pub, the police ordered that everyone be locked inside.

“Once our owner Christophe was in contact with the police – we were locked into the pub for about 30 or 40 minutes.”

“Nobody knew what was going on, we heard gun shots but we didn’t know where they were from, were they attacks, were they police? People were just running through the streets.”

“Because of the celebrations yesterday there were a lot of children in the pub that were on lockdown and they were very upset.”

Mr Daly and his colleagues began to frantically text their other colleagues who they knew had been celebrating Bastille Day by watching the fire works on the beach by Promenade Anglais.

 “There was another concern for us last night because a lot of them were on the beach watching the fireworks for Bastille Day.”

“Thankfully, they were all ok.”

Ian and the other occupants of the pub didn’t leave until around 1am this morning. As he walked back to work again this morning, he witnessed a very sombre city.

“It’s sad. You can feel sadness. There is a lot of security. It’s hard to describe, you can feel the sadness in the air.”

“Since the Paris attacks last year security in Nice has been really high. After the Euros in Nice too it’s been very good. The emergency services acted so quickly last night, it was amazing. It was impressive how quickly they reacted; they were on the streets within minutes. There’s going to be more security brought in now for the next few weeks and months.

Mr Daly said all businesses open this morning as normal. Hopefully there’s not going to be anything else.”