Bin Laden death brings justice to still grieving Irish families -- Closure for those who lost loved ones on 9/11


Read more: A tribute to those Irish Americans we lost on 9/11

Read more: Bin Laden's death: good news that could have waited

When I heard they killed Osama bin Laden I thought of Cork native Ron Clifford.

Ron from Cork, lost his niece and his sister on 9-11, and was almost killed himself.

He was in the World Trade Center that day and narrowly escaped with his life when the planes overhead crashed into the Towers.

Incredibly, Ron Clifford's sister and niece were on one of the flights.

Since that day I know that Ron, who I featured in my book Fire in the Morning on 9-11 heroes, has gone through hell, and I know that this news of Bin Laden's death will finally bring some relief.

I sat with Ron and his wife in their New Jersey home many nights after that awful event and marveled at the courage and resilience they showed.

But I knew their hearts were breaking

Not just for him, but for the thousands who died on 9-11 this is a great night.

The death of bin Laden proves that there is nowhere to hide when you are the most bloodthirsty terrorist in U.S. history.

For years with his videotapes and his taunts, he has continued to threaten America and to boast about how many of us he would kill.

Now he is gone, and truly the world is a much better place.

Anyone who lived through 9-11 in New York as I did will consider this one of the greatest nights in the history of this city.

The man who tried to take us down has himself had his life ended, and justice has at last been served.

I think of other victims of bin Laden. Mike Meehan from Donegal, who went to his grave early because of the death of his son Damian. There's Kieran Gorman from Sligo, a young Irish construction worker from Sligo trying to make his way.

I remember interviewing the widow of FDNY Lieutenant Kevin Dowdall for my 9-11 book, "Fire in the Morning." She recalled his great Irish sense of humor and his love of Irish music.

Just two weeks ago I met with Jim Smith, whose wife, NYPD Officer Patricia Smith, saved so many lives that day by leading people to safety, but died herself.

I think of them all tonight, and the thousands of others and the lives that were lost, and the senseless deaths.

I am so proud of this country that they have tracked down the man who ordered these deaths, and that justice has been done.

God Bless America.

Read more: A tribute to those Irish Americans we lost on 9/11

Read more: Bin Laden's death: good news that could have waited