Today saw the return home after four months deployment to Sierra Leone of a five-strong Irish Defence Forces medical team helping fight the spread of Ebola.
The homecoming was witnessed by Random Irish Photos.
Each of them men were screened five times and they are to be screened a sixth time not that they are back on home soil.They were screened before leaving their base in Sierra Leon, then at Sierra Leon Airport, then they were screened again when they were travelling through Morocco and they were screened twice in the UK before returning to the Casement Aerodrome earlier today.
Of their time in Sierra Leone, Captain Eugene O’Connor said:
‘We were all spread out all over the country, so we all have different experiences. Obviously there is a degree of poverty there and a degree of fear with the virus But that was something that was on our minds all the time.
‘When we arrived in country, there was a spike in cases And there was always a concern that it was going to spiral out of control.We were pressed into immediate areas of hot spots quite quickly. Between all the agencies, they managed to get a hold and stymie the outbreak at that stage. So within about a month, cases began to level off and so they are almost at zero but it’s a bumpy road. It never just goes 360 cases to zero.’
Captain O’Connor was met his mother Mary, sister Tracey and Gillian, his niece Milla Banerjee, nephew Ben Banerjee, and his Italian girlfriend, Miranda Pio. Also travelling with Cpt O’Connor were Sgt David Sliney, Cpls Frank Noonan and Pierce Foley and trooper Richard Fitzgerald.