A MAN has told Dublin Coroner’s Court of the moment he found his wife after she had been killed during a terrorist attack in Tunisia.
Declan Carty was giving evidence at an inquest into the deaths of three Irish people during the attack at Sousse on June 26, 2015.
A jury returned verdicts of unlawful killing for all three Irish people – Mr Carty’s wife Lorna, 54, from Robinstown, Co. Meath and Laurence and Martina Hayes from Athlone, Co. Westmeath.
Mr Carty told the court he was in his hotel room and his wife was on the beach when the attack began.
“I woke up to what I first thought was fireworks. It sounded like a machine gun," he said.
"I looked out but everything looked normal, there was a jet-ski and a paraglider moving in the water.”
Mr Carty tried to phone his wife but got no answer/
He told the inquest that as the attack unfolded, he took shelter in his room with other guests, during which they could hear glass smashing and bullets ricocheting.
After the attack, he went looking for his wife.
"I went to the beach, I lifted a towel. It was Lorna,” he said.
“She was lying with her head to one side as if she was lying in the sun."
The attack at the tourist resort of Port El Kantaoui, which claimed 38 lives, happened on the day Mr and Mrs Carty were due to head back to Ireland.
The couple had gone on holiday after Mr Carty had suffered a heart attack.
They were only staying at the hotel after being moved from another where construction work was taking place.
Like the Cartys, Laurence Hayes, 56, and his wife Martina, 55, were also due to return to Ireland on the day of the attack.
The three Irish nationals were among the first of the 38 victims.
In a statement after the inquest, the Carty and Hayes families said they were devastated.
“We are all still devastated by the tremendous loss we have endured,” they said. "We hope that no family ever has to ensure the pain and tragic loss we have suffered.
"We thank all of those who have been here for us over the last 32 months and who have provided support and comfort to us, they have brought us some solace during this difficult time."
Islamic State gunman Seifeddine Rezgui targeted tourists during the 30-minute attack before he was gunned down by Tunisian authorities.