Irish mother describes terror of Tunisian hotel attack

NewsBy Sunday World
At least 19 are feared dead in the attack
At least 19 are feared dead in the attack

An Irish mother has spoke of the fear after being caught up in the Tunisian hotel terrorist attack today.

Irishwoman Elizabeth O'Brien is holidaying in the area with her two sons.

Speaking to RTE Radio One's News At One, she said she initially thought it was fireworks: “I just heard rapid firing, I thought it was fireworks, it sounds like gunfire.

“I ran to the sea and grabbed my kids and our things and, as I was running towards the hotel, the security on the beach started shouting ‘Run, run’.

“We ran to our room and now we are trapped in our room, the phone here doesn’t work to contact reception . The consul said there was a terrorist attack in the hotel next door, he told me to stay put, my travel agent said to go to the reception to speak to the rep , but I’m afraid so I’m stuck here in the room with my two sons.

“The agent said the attack was isolated to the hotel next door. The consul told me it was a terror attack.

“I just ran as soon as I heard the noise , I just thought of the museum incident a few months ago.”

At least sixty Irish people travelled to Tunisia with one travel company this week.

The hotel at the centre of the attack is being reported as the Hotel Marhaba, a popular destination for Irish and British tourists.

Reports now say that 27 people have been killed in the attack.

Tension has been high in Tunisia since an attack on the National Bardo Museum in March which killed 22 people, mostly foreign tourists.

The Department of Foreign Affairs told they are not aware of any Irish citizens involved in the incident.

"Our Embassy in Madrid and our Honorary Consul in Tunis are monitoring the situation in Sousse, Tunisia and are providing updates," a spokesperson told

"We are currently not aware of any Irish citizens involved in the incident.

"Anyone with concerns about family or friends can call the Department on 01 408 2000."