An Irish couple are now confirmed dead in the ISIS slaughter of 39 innocent tourists in Tunisia That brings to three the number of Irish among the 39 fatalities.

The couple have been named locally in Athlone, County Westmeath as Laurence (Larry) and Martina Hayes. He is a well known local bus driver. The couple are believed to be in their fifties.

Their daughter was in contact with Irish authorities during the day before police finally confirmed the couple were among the dead.

Lorna Carty, a mother of two from County Meath, was already identified as being murdered by the 23 year old gunman who was a member of ISIS according to the group.

She and her husband Declan had been on vacation as a present from an in-law after Declan had successful heart surgery.

She was on the beach at the time of the massacre but her distraught husband was  in the hotel and escaped injury.
Lorna’s son, Simon, is a leading gaelic footballer in County Meath and she herself was heavily involved in the Dunderry local football team. She was a nurse by profession.

Irish Times

A cousin of the dead woman paid tribute to her. Aoibheann Harlin said: “It’s just awful, the whole thing is so surreal.

“Lorna was the heart of her family who was a kind, caring and gentle soul who put everyone before herself.

“She was a nurse and if anyone in her neighbourhood or family ever had a medical concern Lorna would always be by their side with a big smile and a helping hand,” she told the Irish Mirror

“Lorna was always looking after her friends and family. She will be very sadly missed by all of them.

Other Irish people holidaying at the resort had narrow escapes. Marian King from Lucan, told RTE she and her family had managed to lock themselves into a hotel bedroom when the shooting started.

"People were running down the corridors screaming to be let into bedrooms," she recounted. They stayed in the bathroom for two hours after the shooting stopped.

Anthony and Betty Tunstead from Glasnevin Avenue in Dublin narrowly avoided being shot.

"We went into one room and kept there for a while. I came back out and here's a boyo in the lobby with a machine gun,” said Betty.

"We didn’t make eye contact because he was looking to see where he was jumping off the parapet. He didn't see me."

Cathy Piper from Wicklow was having a beer on the beach when the attack began around noon and she saw an attacker.

"I saw him from a distance - a guy dressed in black walking along the beach.”

She followed a staff member in a side door to safety. 

"The hotel staff were great. They ran to the creche to get the kids out."

Photocall Ireland

Irish Foreign Minister Charlie Flanagan condemned the attack in the strongest terms.

“I have condemned in the strongest terms these terrorist attacks. I would like to offer my sincere condolences to the families of all the deceased.

“The ambassador of Ireland accredited to Tunisia, David Cooney, also met EU counterparts in Tunis today to review the situation on the ground. The embassy team will keep me and the government updated through the days ahead.”

Rescue workers pull an empty stretcher outside the Bardo museum Wednesday, March 18, 2015 in Tunis, Tunisia.AP Photo/Salah Ben Mahmoud