Irish woman shot dead in Tunisian terrorist attacks

NewsBy Shuki Byrne
One of the gunman believed to be responsible for the attack
One of the gunman believed to be responsible for the attack

An Irish woman has been killed in the Tunisian terror attacks, it has been confirmed.

The Irish woman, who is in her 50s, is understood to have been shot during the attack at one of the country's most popular tourist resorts. 

Tunisian interior ministry spokesman Ali Aroui described the victims as mostly tourists but did not give any nationalities.

However, local radio reports said those killed in the resort of Sousse were mostly English-speaking German and British tourists. 

The deadly attack has claimed the lives of 28 holidaymakers, many of whom were gunned down as they enjoyed themselves at the beach.  At least 36 other people were wounded.

Images posted on social media show bodies strewn across the white sands of Sousse, a resort popular with European holidaymakers. 

The attack is believed to have occurred between Hotel Bellevue and the Royal Kenzo Hotel.

It is believed the Irish victim is a middle-aged woman from County Meath. It is understood she was at the beach when she was shot dead by one of the gunmen. 

Fine Gael TD Ray Butler has spoken to the woman's husband. "He is absolutely distraught," Mr Butler said.

The Department of  Foreign Affairs wasn't immediately available to comment but told the Independent they are aware of Irish citizens in the area. 

"We are aware of Irish citizens in Sousse," a spokesperson for  told

"Given the number of Irish holiday makers in Tunisia we have opened a dedicated consular support  line as a precautionary measure."

It is reported that holidaymakers of six different nationalities have been killed in the attack. 

One of the gunman has been killed after engaging police in a gun battle in the streets. The other is being pursued by police. 

Rafik Chelli, one of Tunisia's leading security officials, told Mosaique FM that the gunman who was shot by security forces was unknown to authorities.

He said the man, from the city of Kairouan, came from the beach hiding his Kalashnikov under an umbrella before opening fire on tourists. From there he entered the hotel through the pool, shooting people as he went.

Elizabeth O'Brien, an Irish woman on holiday with her two sons in the resort, described how she grabbed her children and ran for their lives when they heard gunfire erupting from one of the hotels.

''We were on the beach, my sons were in the sea and I just got out of the sea.

"It was about 12 o'clock and I just looked up about 500 metres from me and I saw a (hot air) balloon collapse down, then rapid firing, then I saw two of the people who were going to go up in the balloon start to run towards me - because I thought it was fireworks,'' the Dubliner told RTE Radio.

"So, I thought 'Oh my God, it sounds like gunfire', so I just ran to the sea to my children and grabbed our things and as I was running towards the hotel, the waiters and the security on the beach started saying 'run, run run!' and we just ran to our room, which is like a little bungalow.