No Way Out - Iraq
In August 1990 Saddam Hussein invaded Kuwait, setting in train the events leading to what we know as the First Gulf War. Saddam closed the borders of Iraq and Kuwait, trapping many foreign nationals, including about 400 Irish.
Around 300 of these worked for Aer Lingus subsidiary PARC, which ran a major hospital in Baghdad. Others worked in the oil industry. The trapped Westerners were known as Saddam’s ‘hostages’ and some were placed as human shields at sites of strategic importance.
Two of these ‘hostages’ were Mary McLoughlin, who worked as a doctor at the PARC hospital, and Tom Lynch, who was working as an electrical contractor on an oilfield in Northern Iraq.
Mary and Tom, both from Cork, recount their experiences of what was an extremely tense time at the heart of a gathering storm. This included, for Tom, a nightmarish month in several Iraqi prisons after a failed escape attempt across the border.