Tunisia terror attack: Irish mum-of-two Lorna Carty shot dead
An Irish mum-of-two was shot dead today as gunmen launched a terrifying terror attack on a holiday hotspot.
Declan and Lorna Carty, from Robinstown, Co Meath, were on the trip in Soussewhen gunmen opened fire, killing up to 37 people.
Meath Fine Gael TD Ray Butler told how Mrs Carty, a nurse aged in her 50s, was a constituent of his and he was informed of her death at 2.30pm.
He then spoke to the woman's husband by phone.
He said: "It was one of the hardest phone calls I ever made and it was so sad to hear what happened.
“For this lady to be enjoying her holidays, out on the beach enjoying herself and then to lose her life that way.
“What I have heard is that a brother-in-law gave the family flights as a gift after the husband had heart surgery.
“It was supposed to be a time for them to go and enjoy themselves and relax on holiday.
“It was a gift that has ended so tragically.
“The community is shocked, the whole area is.”
Minister for Foreign Affairs, Charlie Flanagan, confirmed an Irish fatality this afternoon.
Speaking in Dublin, he said: "I wish to confirm on the matter of Tunisia there has been an Irish citizen involved, a fatality.
"Our people in the department have been in contact with the family and their relatives.
"I cannot exclude the possibility of further Irish involvement."
Ireland does not have a consulate in Tunisia, but the Minister said the Irish ambassador in Madrid, Spain, was sent to Tunisia as soon as news of the atrocity broke.
He added: "We are working with the families of the bereaved. Our priority will be the safe return of Irish citizens at the earliest opportunity.
"Our travel advice of anyone thinking in terms of travelling to Tunisia, is to exercise extreme caution on the matter of proceeding and I would be happy to make further information available as soon as it comes to hand."
Sources also revealed that two Lithuanian families who are living in Ireland were caught up in the bloodbath.
They had a miracle escape after their children were playing on the sand just 20 yards from where the gunmen opened fire.
A source said that the families managed to escape unharmed but were desperately trying to get home to Ireland tonight.
The Department of Foreign Affairs could not comment on whether any Irish residents, who do not hold Irish citizenship, were killed in the shooting.
Earlier, a gunman was killed with holidaymakers sharing their terror on social media.
Another suspected terrorist is now being pursued by authorities.
Elizabeth continued: "He told me to stay put, my travel agent told me to go to reception to speak to the rep but I'm afraid so I'm stuck in the room with my two sons not knowing what to do or what's going on.
"It was isolated to a hotel, that's what my travel agent told me, and then the Consul told me it was a terrorist attack.
"I just heard the noise on the beach, I didn't see anyone go down because I just ran as soon as I heard the noise.
"I don't know what's happening now, I'm sort of cut off from the world.
"I honestly thought it was fireworks, and then when I saw the people take off the ballooning thing and start running, I just thought of the museum incident that happened a few months ago and I thought 'my God, it is a shooting.'
"We just ran, I just thought I need to get my children safe."
At least 60 Irish people are believed to have travelled to Tunisia with one holiday company, and a further 60 could have travelled with another company.
The Department of Foreign Affairs has said people concerned for family members in Sousse, Tunisia should call 01-408-2000.