Irish father and his son (5) injured in Barcelona attack

Family of four naturalised Irish citizens caught up in incident that left 13 dead

An eyewitness describes what he saw when a van was driven at high speed for several hundred meters onto Barcelona's famous Las Ramblas tourist area. Video: CCTV

 

An Irish citizen and his five-year-old son are among the 100 or so people injured in the Barcelona terrorist attack.

The boy suffered a broken leg and his father also sustained leg injuries and suspected internal injuries in Las Ramblas after a white Fiat van drove onto the pavement and into a crowd of people in the busy area on Thursday killing 13.

They are part of a family of four who were born in the Philippines but are naturalised Irish citizens and who were holidaying in Spain at the time of the attack. The children were born in Ireland.

The father and mother have been named as Norman and Pederlita Putot, and the son and daughter are Nathaniel and Pearl Putot.

Minister for Foreign Affairs Simon Coveney, said the injuries suffered by the Irish father and his son were “not life-threatening, I’m relieved to say. “But in a way it’s a miracle that more Irish people weren’t involved, given that there are so many Irish people in Spain, Barcelona and Cambrils at this time of year.”

A spokeswoman from the Philippines embassy in Barcelona confirmed the young boy had suffered injuries to his legs during the terror incident.

The father may also have internal injuries, according to the spokeswoman. The mother and daughter (9) from the family were “declared okay” after an initial assessment in hospital, the spokeswoman said.

Dr Emmanuel Fernandez, consul general of the Philippines embassy in Madrid told RTÉ’s Morning Ireland “the father was hit on his side, he was not seriously injured but there’s talk that he may need an operation.”

“They are tourists who had come from Ireland to celebrate their son’s birthday, but obviously that didn’t happen” he said.

A spokesman for the Department of Foreign Affairs said it is “aware of the case” of the four Irish citizens.

As of about 8.30am the department was “not aware” of any other confirmed cases of Irish citizens caught up in the terror attacks.

A hotline has been opened in Dublin for anyone concerned about relatives in Spain on (01) 408 2000 while the Irish Embassy in Madrid was also fielding calls on +34 9143 64093.

President Michael D Higgins led condemnation of the attacks and sent a message of condolence. “Barcelona has a long history of hospitality and has over the years received so many people from around the world,” he said.

“As President of Ireland, I want to send the people of this great and welcoming city not only our sympathy but also the solidarity of the people of Ireland.”

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar said: “An attack of this nature, targeting the people of Barcelona and visitors enjoying that wonderful city in the height of the tourist season, is both wanton and cowardly and has no place in our society.

“At this time of immense grief, I want to offer our solidarity and support to the people of Spain, with whom we have such close relations.”

Mr Coveney said he was appalled by the attacks. “On behalf of the Irish Government, I wish to convey our condolences and solidarity with the people of Spain at this time,” he said.

Minister for Justice Charlie Flanagan described the attack as an unspeakable act of terrorism and said gardaí would liaise closely with Spanish counterparts.

“It is clear that the intention of those who carried out this appalling, evil act was to kill, wound and terrorise innocent people enjoying the freedoms we share and cherish,” he said.

“Our thoughts are with the victims and their families.”

Additional reporting: PA