News

Honeymoon horror: Irish newlyweds caught up in Greek wildfires; Groom remains missing

Honeymoon horror: Irish newlyweds caught up in Greek wildfires; Groom remains missing

Fears are rising for an Irish couple caught up in Greek wildfires which have killed at least 76 people.

Newlyweds Brian O'Callaghan-Westropp and Zoe Holohan married last week before flying out to Greece on their honeymoon.

Ms Holohan is now in hospital with burns while her husband is missing - he was last seen at the resort of Mati outside Athens on Monday.

The Department of Foreign Affairs has confirmed it is offering consular assistance to a number of Irish citizens in Greece.

Advertisement

Three days of national mourning are beginning there - prime minister Alexis Tsipras has described the fire as an 'unspeakable tragedy'.

Foreign Affairs Minister Simon Coveney issued advice for Irish citizens.

Advertisement

He tweeted: β€œIrish citizens in region should keep up to date with local media and follow advice of Greek authorities in affected areas. Irish citizens affected can contact Irish Embassy in Athens +30 210 723 2771 or my Department +353 1 408 2000.”

President Michael D Higgins said he has written to Greek President Prokopis Pavlopoulos to express his sympathies with the families of those who have lost their lives and livelihoods in the fires.

Advertisement

He said: β€œFollowing my visit to Greece and my meeting with him and the president of Italy and Portugal, I am very conscious of the resilience of the Greek people, who should be assisted by all of us in these difficult times.

β€œI offered, on behalf of the people of Ireland, our deepest condolences and our solidarity.”

Pat Dawson, CEO of the Irish Travel Agents Association, has advised anyone intending to travel to Greece in the coming days to take precautions.

He said: "Check with your travel agent or tour operator for any advice and also with the Department of Foreign Affairs. Every possible angle should be taken care of and safety is a priority."

Two main fires broke out on Monday, one to the west of Athens near the town of Kineta and one to the north-east near the port of Rafina.

Both were fanned by gale-force winds that hampered firefighting efforts and sent hundreds of people fleeing to beaches, where they were evacuated by boat late at night.

The Rafina fire appears to have been the deadliest by far.

- Digital Desk and Press Association

Advertisement