Ordeal ended in horrific circumstances, says Tánaiste
IRISH REACTION:Although Irish hostage Stephen McFaul suffered no physical harm during his kidnapping in Algeria, Tánaiste Eamon Gilmore said his ordeal came to an end in “horrific” circumstances.
Despite this, Mr Gilmore said Mr McFaul’s wife Angela had told him that there was “not a scratch” on him after he was freed.
“She has described to me the circumstances in which he became free. She described the experience that he had as truly horrific.”
Amid unconfirmed reports that several of the hostages, one of whom was said to be another Northern Ireland person with a British passport, did not survive an operation by Algerian forces to set them free, Mr Gilmore said it was clear from what Mr McFaul’s wife told him that some of the victims had not been as fortunate as Mr McFaul.
Last night, Mr McFaul was in an Algerian military base and the authorities there were organising his return home today.
“He’s physically unharmed,” Mr Gilmore said. “I have just spoken with Angela and she was delighted, the family was delighted that Stephen is free and safe and expects that he will be back with her tomorrow.”
Mr Gilmore declined to describe how Mr McFaul’s ordeal came to an end, saying it was for him to tell the story.
“I’m also conscious that at the moment that there is an ongoing situation . . . I’m conscious for the need for safety of some of the other people who are involved and I’m also conscious of the feelings of their families,” he said.
“We are still piecing together the information about the events that happened today and about the kidnapping and yesterday. While naturally we are delighted that Stephen McFaul is free and safe, our thoughts are with his fellow workers and with the other people who have not been so fortunate and our thoughts particularly are with the families of the citizens of other countries who are still not accounted for.”