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Locals recall weekend in Paris – a city still on edge after attacks

November 22nd, 2015 2:41 PM

By Kieran O'Mahony

Journalist Grainne McCarthy

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 WHILE Paris is still dealing with the trauma of the terrorist attacks that killed 129 people and injured over 350 people last Friday night, several people from West Cork, visiting or resident in the city, recalled their night of terror.

Carrie McKeown, style writer for The Southern Star, was on a weekend break with her boyfriend and they had been watching the Ireland v Bosnia match in a bar in Montmartre when news first broke about the terrorist attacks.

‘We were oblivious to anything going on outside when we began to get texts and phone calls from home checking on our whereabouts and our safety. We soon realised how serious the situation was and we decided to stay put until we heard on the news that the shootings had stopped,’ Carrie told The Southern Star.

‘It was extremely upsetting to hear the actual events of the night on the news, and the fact that we had been so close to many of the scenes of terror that day and the day before, made it really hit home.’

Skibbereen native Gráinne McCarthy is Paris bureau chief for The Wall Street Journal and Dow Jones in Paris and found herself in the middle of the world’s biggest story on Friday night. Her tweets and photographs – @grainnemcc – kept her followers up to date with the ongoing state of emergency over the weekend. It also reminded her friends and family at home that she was safe while going about her job.

Another Cork born journalist, James Creedon from Bishopstown, with close family links in West Cork, who works as a media editor at TV channel France24 said the city is still on edge after the attacks.

‘On Friday night I was getting out of the metro not far from the site of the Bataclan concert hall, and I came across one girl who had fled the scene and was distraught. Everyone was being ushered out of the neighbourhood,’ said James.

The Kelleher family from Newcestown were visiting Disneyland Paris last week and were due to fly out the day after the attacks.

‘We were actually planning to go into central Paris on the Friday and do a hop-on hop-off bus tour of the city’s sights but the children weren’t too keen so we decided not to,’ said Teresa Kelleher.

‘It was only when my mother rang us in our hotel the night of the attacks that we were first made aware of what happened. While security was tight at the airport on Saturday, and although there were delays, we were just glad to get back to Cork that day.’

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