Three Irish killed in Tunisia as government confirms identity of Irish couple

NewsBy Karl Doyle
Laurence Hayes has been confirmed dead in the terror attack in Tunisia
Laurence Hayes has been confirmed dead in the terror attack in Tunisia

The number of Irish victims of the Tunisia attack has been officially confirmed as three.

Minister for Foreign Affairs Charlie Flanagan said an Irish couple missing since Friday's massacre are among the dead as had been feared.

An Irish mother-of-two, Lorna Carty, from Robinstown, Co Meath, had already been named as a victim of the massacre.

The couple, named locally as Laurence and Martina Hayes, both aged in their 50s, from Athlone in Co Westmeath, were holidaying in the resort.

Mr Hayes was a bus inspector and the couple have one daughter, Sinead, who is being comforted by friends and family.

They lived in the West Lodge estate in the town.

He worked for Bus Eireann for the last 20 years and 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."

Sick terror group IS called the atrocity an attack on “the nests of fornication and vice” and chillingly warned of more attacks to come.

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

"I want to offer condolences to the families and indeed those names that have been reported in the media I expect those names to be confirmed in the course of the afternoon."

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

In an interview with RTE Radio One, he added: "I myself have been in contact with family members of the citizens who I understand and believe have lost their lives. 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".