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tragic death Pierre Zakrzewski's mother says mission to bring body home from Ukraine will begin tomorrow

His mother said Fox and Sky News, are working with Irish officials and officials from France and Poland to fly him back to Ireland


Pierre Zakrzewski

Pierre Zakrzewski

Pierre Zakrzewski

The mother of Irish photojournalist Pierre Zakrzewski (55), who was killed in Ukraine this week, said it is hoped the mission to bring his body home will begin tomorrow.

Marie-Ange Zakrzewska told the Sunday World that the plan is to bring her son's remains home to Ireland and the first step will be to get him to Poland.

Mr Zakrzewski was killed on Monday by Russian shelling outside Kyiv.

His mother said her son's former employers, Fox and Sky News, are working with Irish officials and officials from France and Poland to fly him back to Ireland.

She said they are working to secure transport to carry her son from Ukraine to Poland and from there to Dublin.

Mr Zakrzewski was born in Paris to a French mother and a Polish father.

He grew up in Leopardstown in south Dublin and was educated in St Conleth's College in Donnybrook and later at UCD.

Mr Zakrzewski's widow Michelle has travelled to Poland to assist with the repatriation effort.

The Zakrzewski family heard of Pierre's death on Tuesday afternoon and his mother said she is trying "not to think about it" and to "just keep going".

She said the reaction to her son's tragic death has been "mad" since the news first broke.

Ms Zakrzewska said the war in Ukraine has gripped the world and her son's death has put a human face on it for people in Ireland.

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"Even my son in New York, he has been getting calls from the media over there and he said the reaction from all of Pierre's colleagues has been amazing."

Ms Zakrzewska said all of her son's colleagues have talked about his kind nature and how good he was to work with.

She said her son "always wanted to be a journalist, photographer, saving the world".

Pierre Zakrzewski covered stories in conflict zones all over the world and recently reported on the situation in war-torn Afghanistan.

"He was filming, but he was also doing all sorts of other things and lately he was, because he spent two months in Afghanistan, he was working to get Afghans out of Afghanistan," his mother said.

Ms Zakrzewska said her son was always focused on telling the "right stories".

"Not being sentimental about it but telling the truth as it was," she added.

Mr Zakrzewski's brothers Nick and Greg said their brother was heavily involved in humanitarian work throughout his career and would want to be remembered for the striking images he captured which highlighted the reality of war.

Nick said his brother was a "calculated risk-taker" throughout his career and had 30 years' experience of dealing with dangerous situations.

"He was so proud of being Irish and the access and the view worldwide of the Irish, it's a real positive thing," he said.

"I also think the fact that he's Irish is a very important part of his moral makeup."

Greg said his brother was concerned during the Russian invasion as there was no front line in Ukraine and civilians were being targeted.

"He always said that was the dodgiest scenario to be in.

"The scenario in Ukraine... is you don't know where the guns shooting at you are - are they in front of you, behind you, left or right? You don't know," he said.

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