Irish citizens flee Libya, call Gadaffi ‘Hitler’ after speech
More Irish citizens returned home from troubled Libya on Saturday, but the voyage home was far from easy.
One Irish woman decided that it was time to get out with her two daughters and Libyan husband after listening to Col. Gadaffi address the nation on Sunday night.
The family got out on a British warship.
"I was so delighted to see the commandos, I must admit. They couldn't have been nicer. They were so organized. The crossing was terrible but that wasn't their fault, it was the sea," said Christine Allen from Dublin, according to the Irish Independent.
"We weren't going to go until on Sunday night after Gadaffi spoke. I was terrified after that. Normally you would understand some of the things he was saying but he was rambling and to me he reminded me of Hitler," she added.
"Even getting on the boat was a relief. It was frightening, especially when you see them sitting there with the guns at the harbor waiting for us to get on. Anything could have happened, even at that stage."
In Benghazi, where violence has raged since the popular rebellion began, seven Irish citizens managed to get out on British ships and make it to Malta, where an Irish government jet met them to bring them the rest of the way home.
Raymond Beauchamp, 45, and Joe Quinn 57, were among the seven to get out and described the ordeal.
"We were in this camp. The vehicles were all stolen. Our worry was that we were so close to the old airport that it was going to bombed and we were going to be right in the middle of it," said Quinn, according to the Irish Independent.
"We had our own security people. They were Libyans but we didn't know who they were but they arrived there to protect us. They could've been anyone. They were armed and we knew that a lot of them weren't trained to use arms properly."
The group was thankful to the Department of Foreign Affairs, but other Irish people who got out of the country were not so positive about the government’s response to the situation.
One of a group of Irish teachers in Tripoli who escaped with a German pilot said that the government response was “useless.”
Irish planes landed in Tripoli on Tuesday but the two aircraft left for Malta the following day with no Irish citizens on board, as they were not allowed to leave the plane.
There are still some Irish people in Libya, with several working in the oil fields and reports of other families trying desperately to leave the country.
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