Wexford man Stuart at centre of London's fight against terrorism
A Wexford man working with an elite unit of the Metropolitan Police in London is at the centre of the city's intensified fight against terrorism following two Isis-related attacks in the heart of the UK capital in space of three months.
Stuart Foley, a native of Ferndale Park in Wexford, was on his way home from work last Saturday night when three men in a hired van mowed down pedestrians on London Bridge before going on a stabbing spree in London Borough Market, killing seven people and injuring 48 others.
A member of the Territorial Support Group, an elite team of armed officers dealing with terrorism and serious disorder across London, Stuart (38) has been working round-the-clock since the latest terrifying incident which brought shock and fear to the city.
His parents Pascal and Jean were concerned when they learned about the most recent attacks and texted Stuart to make sure he was okay.
'Naturally, we would contact him when we hear about a major incident that he might be involved in,' said his dad.
'He can't say too much about what is going on behind the scenes. He is involved in directing operations, deploying extra armed patrols on the streets and overseeing raids. I spoke to him on Monday morning and he was on his way down to London Bridge', said Pascal.
'He was a frontline officer when he joined the Territorial Support Group first but now he is more involved more at a tactical level, deploying units.'
Stuart, a former manager with Pettitt's SuperValu supermarket in Wexford who lives in Northampton with his wife Nicola and their four children, joined London Metropolitan Police in 2001, beginning his career in the borough of Ealing.He has received three bravery awards for outstanding courage in the course of his job.
The Wexford man is experienced in dealing with riot situations and terrorist attacks. He was involved in the aftermath of the London bombings of July 7, 2005 and in helping to bring the London riots under control in 2011.