Irish Student Reveals His Terrifying Close Call In Berlin Attack

Irish Student Reveals His Terrifying Close Call In Berlin Attack

Many of us have been to Berlin, know someone from there, or have a loved one who is there right now. The scene of the Monday attack that killed 12 people is close to home for us all. A tragedy like this so close to Christmas has been hard to understand but no one feels worse than those who were nearby when it happened, like Irish student Kilian McDonagh.

The Dubliner has been living in Berlin for the last three years and left the Berlin Christmas market just 15 minutes before a lorry drove into a crowd.

Speaking on Newstalk 106 yesterday evening he said: “I was out doing some Christmas shopping with my girlfriend. We were walking for the bus to go home. We walked through the Christmas market where the attack occurred about 15 minutes beforehand.

“It’s Berlin’s main shopping district, especially this time of year, there are people all over the place doing their shopping…so it was really very packed.

“Thankfully we got to the bus and got home.”

Kilian's the Irish language officer of Berlin GAA and messaged them first to let them know he was safe.

“The Berlin GAA club texted everyone to get them to check in and let them know they were all right. They also contacted the Irish embassy. There is a really good network here and a great system in place", he said.


Kilian reiterated how much the Irish love Berlin, saying “There is a big Irish community here, well over 1,000 people, a mixture of tech workers and students".

He also pointed out that sadly Germans were expecting something like this to happen in a public place sooner rather than later. “People in Germany have been expecting this, because Germany has recently been the moral leader of the free world. The lifestyle that people have here is envied all over the world.

“In many ways, people here were expecting this to happen and in many ways, it’s just good that it wasn’t worse than it was".

President Michael D Higgins didn't mince his words when he condemned the attacks in Berlin, Zürich and Ankara yesterday.

The Sun reports Higgins said: “The events of the last 48 hours that have included the killing of citizens at a Christmas market in Berlin, an attack on a place of prayer in Zürich and the killing of the Russian ambassador at a public event in Ankara are, as other attacks before, calculated to sow fear at the heart of our societies.

“As President of Ireland I wish to convey my condolences to the families of the victims of these acts and the solidarity of the people of Ireland with all those affected by the violence. I wish all the survivors and their communities strength and confidence in these difficult times.

“Today, on this International Human Solidarity Day, let us redouble our efforts to celebrate and defend our unity in diversity so that we can, together, build a better tomorrow.

"We must strengthen our resolve not to let such attacks undermine the way of life in our global community, seeking to live in diversity and peace".


Also read: 9 Dead And More Injured In Suspected Berlin Terror Attack

Emma Greenbury
Article written by
Emma is an editor and writer from Brisbane, Australia and has been living in Dublin since September 2016 after she decided warm weather and beaches were overrated. She now wears three pairs of trousers every day and loves it.

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