'When we heard the explosion, we hoped it was an accident'
Published 31/03/2016 | 00:00
Enniscorthy-born Alan Quirke was only minutes away from Malbeek metro station when terrorist bombings claimed the lives of 20 people and injured many others.
Alan was cycling to his workplace when the bombings took place at the airport and had just reached his office when news of the metro attacks broke out. According to him, the incident was quite confusing at first.
'When we heard of the explosions at the airport, we were hoping it was an accident but they when we heard of the metro attacks, it became apparent that the two were linked,' said Alan, who works with the Permanent Representation of Ireland to the European Union.
'In my place they were accounting for everyone and making sure everyone was safe. Thankfully, they were,' he said.
Alan said it was difficult to describe how he felt during the attacks, saying it was hard to explain.
'Obviously it was a bit unsettling. You are worried about people,' he said.
Alan's wife Fiona, who is currently pregnant, was at home at the time with his young daughter. He was happy to know that they were safe.
According to Alan, the current situation in Brussels is 'quite strange'.
'In some ways it appears normal but then you hear a lot of police,' he said. 'It brings you back to reality pretty quickly.'
'The amount of media here is unbelievable. It's a frenzy,' he continued. 'Things are trying to get back to normal but it's clear that underneath it all, they aren't.'