Cruise disaster survivors will ‘never erase awful memories’

The thoughts and prayers of the only Irish family on board the Costa Concordia when it sunk one year ago off the Italian island of Giglio were with the families of the bereaved and the missing this week.

The thoughts and prayers of the only Irish family on board the Costa Concordia when it sunk one year ago off the Italian island of Giglio were with the families of the bereaved and the missing this week.

Clonmel couple Seamus and Carol Moore miraculously survived the Italian shipping disaster which took place on the night of January 13 last year when thirty two people perished after the cruise ship hit rocks 300 yards off the island.

On Sunday a gathering in Giglio paid tribute to the victims. Survivors returned as did families of the bereaved and the two passengers still not found. A day-long series of commemoration services took place at the end of which a minute’s silence was observed .

This week Seamus Moore said their prayers and thoughts were with the families bereaved as a result of the tragedy.

“However difficult it was for us our thoughts at this time are with the people who died and their families. For people who lost family members it must be just horrific,” he said.

He said they would never be able to erase the awful memories of that night as they feared for their lives on the cruise ship.

“I remember being in the lifeboat dangling above the sea and you think you are going to die, it was a frightening experience. A year on its difficult to cope with those awful memories. Carol thought she was never going to see her children again and that is difficult to deal with,” said Seamus.

He remembers coming flying back to Ireland and being treated as celebrities in Dublin when they arrived, something they were uncomfortable with.

“We could not understand why so many photographers were there. We had survived but we felt there was no need to celebrate as on that day five out of six people died when their trawler sunk off Cork. There was a loss of life and a lot of grieving as people in a sea tragedy in this country and it did not feel right celebrating,” he said.