Newspaper for Crossmaglen, South Armagh, Newry and Down.

Camlough woman caught up in Barcelona horror

A journalist from Camlough who narrowly avoided being caught up in the Barcelona terror attack is back on home ground after her terrifying ordeal. 

Alana Fearon, who is a Reporter for the Irish Mirror and Editor of Dublin Live news website, had just spent the last day of her Spanish holiday shopping along the popular Las Ramblas strip in Barcelona when a van ploughed into the crowded area killing 13 people and injuring over 100 more.

In a live video shared from the scene of Thursday’s attack, the clearly shaken Camlough woman explained how she and her friend were rushed into a nearby restaurant as crowds of screaming people came running from the popular tourist strip.

“We were meant to be in Plaça de Catalunya to get our bus but because we were running around getting a few last minute bits of shopping we decided to go to a bar and get a taxi instead. So we were very shocked because we were probably supposed to be there,” she said.

Ms Fearon saw up to 13 police vans and armed riot police racing to the scene while they were urged to stay inside the bar. 

“A policeman with a megaphone was hanging out the front of the door and telling everyone to get inside,” she said.

“We were put inside the bar where we’re staying and the shutters were put down and everyone was very upset.”

They remained in the bar for around 50 minutes before they were allowed back outside, where she described the aftermath as “like a ghost town.”   Twenty minutes later Ms Fearon and a number of other tourists were told to go back inside amid rumours that two gunmen were holed up in a nearby restaurant. After viewing graphic footage of the attack on a waiter’s phone, the local Journalist said “we were absolutely petrified at that stage, the panic really set in, it was just pandemonium.”

“It was really terrifying to be honest,” she told BBC Radio Ulster as she waited to board a flight home on Friday morning. “All I could think of was if the gunmen were around would they shoot through the shutters, would we be stuck there for a day and a night?”

“I’m sitting here in the airport and we’re ok. It’s the victims and their families our hearts go out to, they were just enjoying their holiday like us – it’s just so indiscriminate. There are just no words,” she said.

Citizens of 24 countries were among those killed and injured in Las Ramblas.  Eight hours after Thursday’s incident terrorists struck again, 68 miles away from Barcelona in the coastal town and resort of Cambrils. A gang wearing suicide belts rammed civilians with a car before being shot dead by police. Seven people including a police officer were injured in Cambrils.

Four of the attackers were shot dead at the scene and a fifth died later of his injuries.

Islamic State has claimed responsibility for the attacks, which are the deadliest in Spain since the 2004 Madrid train bombings which killed more than 190 people.