Flight from Baghdad takes PARC employees out of Gulf War zone
A group of 32 Irish women returned to Dublin Airport from Iraq on 10 September 1990. They were among the first westerners to be granted exit visas from the country since the Gulf War had erupted. They had a difficult time in Baghdad following the Kuwaiti invasion. The women were employees of Aer Lingus subsidiary PARC, and included 19 nurses, 10 locums, two doctors and a secretary. They were part of a group of over 400 western women and children who had left Baghdad on a flight to London the previous night.
Dublin ward sister Mary McDonald had to cancel her wedding plans due to her Yugoslav fiancé remaining in Iraq. She says:
We were all safe. We were all fed. Our morale was high. Some people had good days. Some people had bad days. But everybody helped everybody and supported everybody. As I say, the only thing that really upsets me now is that we left people there yesterday who want to come home and they're upset about that.
Michael Hogg, chairman of the Gulf support group is concerned that Irish people are not aware of what's going on and that Ireland's neutrality is being used and abused by the movement of American troops through Shannon Airport.
An RTÉ News report from 10 September 1990. The reporter is Cathy Halloran.