An Irish man is in a critical condition after suffering injuries in Thursday's terrorist attack on Bastille Day celebrations in Nice.
The man, who’s identity has not been released, is understood to be from the west of Ireland. He was attending a fireworks display along the seafront Promenade des Anglais in the southern French town when Mohamed Lahouaiej-Bouhlel (31) drove a heavy truck at high speed into the crowd.
Lahouaiej-Bouhlel continued to drive into the crowd for a distance of 2km. At least 84 people were killed and more than 200 injured, a spokesman for the French interior ministry said.
The Department of Foreign Affairs spent Friday liaising with embassy officials in France to ascertain whether any Irish citizens were caught up in the attack, and to what extent any were injured.
A number of citizens were in attendance and have been accounted for, but a spokesman for the Department earlier said it harboured “particular concerns” in relation to the welfare of one citizen.
Speaking from Castlebar, Co Mayo, Taoiseach Enda Kenny also confirmed there was "concern" about an Irish man.
Mr Kenny described the attacks as “an act of madness”, before he offered his condolences to the people of France and the French prime minister Manuel Valls for the “atrocity imposed on them”.
He urged all Irish citizens to heed the advice and the direction of the local police authorities.
He added that Irish Ambassador to France Geraldine Byrne Nason and the Department of Foreign Affairs had worked throughout the night to assist Irish citizens.
Robert Greene from Coolock, Co Dublin, works as a barman in Nice and was just metres from the scene of the attack.
“I saw this truck and he cut through three or four people,” he said. “He was already missing the bumper. It was horrific.
“A woman dropped to her knees. Someone in her family had been killed, just lying there. There was not even a thing anyone could do. There was no CPR, bits of him were lying around.
“There was a young child’s plastic tricycle, smashed up and left in bits. I stayed on top of the stairs looking around. It was surreal. People screaming, children crying, young children running around the place alone, a woman on rollerblades screaming for her child.”
In a statement after the attack, Minister for Foreign Affairs Charlie Flanagan said the events had left him “deeply shocked and saddened”.
“I deplore the loss of life, and offer heartfelt condolences to the people of France from the people of Ireland,” he said.
“This attack on people as they celebrated Bastille Day with friends and family on a fine summer’s evening is particularly horrendous. My thoughts and sympathies are with the relatives of the dead and injured.”
The Department of Foreign Affairs has encouraged anyone concerned about the welfare of Irish citizens in France to contact its Paris embassy on 0033 144176700.
Consular staff at the department are also available to take calls from concerned families in the Republic. They can be contacted at any time at 01 408 2000.