Government Sympathy on Sudden Death of Aid Worker
The Minister for Foreign Affairs, Mr. Dermot Ahern TD, and Minister of State, Mr. Michael Kitt T.D., offered their sympathies today to the family of deceased aid worker, Mr. Conor Lyons, who passed away this morning in Colombo, Sri Lanka.
Mr. Lyons, from Thurles, Co. Tipperary, who was the first person to be deployed from Ireland’s Rapid Response Corps, travelled to Colombo on 3 September to work with the UN World Food Programme on a three month deployment.
Minister Ahern said: “It was with very great sadness that I learned of the sudden death this morning of Conor. I extend my deepest sympathies to his wife, daughter and son, and to his extended family. They have lost a loving husband and father, we have lost a humanitarian pioneer and a selfless and dedicated worker for those living on the margins of the world.”
The Minister added, “Conor was the first to be deployed from the Rapid Response Corps. He was a seasoned aid worker having worked previously with Goal in Sri Lanka, as well as with other UN agencies in Liberia, Kosovo and East Timor. I met him shortly before his departure and was struck by his enthusiasm and energy. He was very excited about his deployment as a Logistics Officer with the UN World Food Programme (WFP). He was assisting the WFP in coordinating all relief supplies for Sri Lanka – a daunting task in a complex operation and difficult environment where over 600,000 people are in need of humanitarian support because of the on-going conflict in that country.”
Minister Kitt said: “Conor’s death is indeed a great shock. He was in contact with my officials as recently as yesterday to inform us that he was settling well into life in Colombo. Irish Aid is in touch with his family and is working to ensure that his remains are returned to Thurles as soon as possible.”
Note to editors:
The Rapid Response Corps is a key part of Irish Aid’s response to humanitarian emergencies and one element of the wider Rapid Response Initiative. It is designed to improve Ireland’s ability to respond to global humanitarian crises by providing essential expertise which is critical to the international response.Top