More Irish seeking Lebanon evacuation: Ahern

Tuesday 18 July 2006 20.00
Dermot Ahern - EU co-operation over evacuations
Dermot Ahern - EU co-operation over evacuations

The Minister for Foreign Affairs, Dermot Ahern, has said more Irish citizens have assembled in Beirut to await evacuation from Lebanon.

It is believed about 50 Irish people are still in Beirut. The Department of Foreign Affairs is making arrangements to transport them out of Lebanon on Thursday.

Mr Ahern told the Oireachtas Joint Committee on Foreign Affairs that his officials were co-operating with other EU member states on possible future evacuations.

Another group of 80 evacuees - most of whom are Irish - will fly home tonight from Dubai where they arrived from Damascus.

They arrived in Damascus yesterday after being driven by coach from Beirut.

Following a 12-hour bus journey to Damascus in Syria, the evacuees were flown by Government-chartered plane to Dubai where they touched down early this morning.

The Aer Lingus flight that is to bring them to Dublin is due to take off at midnight and the evacuees are expected to land at 5am tomorrow.

Special arrangements have been made for a woman who is six months pregnant and her two children.

She has been flown back to Dublin on the Government jet overnight.

Three others who missed the earlier convoy were also accommodated on the flight.