ClickMy deepest sympathy to the Polish people and to all Polish exiles on the tragic loss of life in the plane crash which occurred about a mile (1.5km) from Smolensk airport in Russia.The Polish president, Lech Kaczynski, and his wife were among 96 people killed when their plane crashed in thick fog on its approach to the regional airport in Russia early this morning.Flowers and candles have been laid outside the Polish Embassy in Dublin following the death of the Polish president, Lech Kaczynski.
Many Poles attended special Masses in Ireland on today Saturday to commemorate the dead. The Polish community in Ireland held a vigil this afternoon at the Dominican Champlaincy in Dorset Street in Dublin. Irish President Mary McAleese and the Polish Ambassador to Ireland, Tadeusz Szumowski will attend a memorial Mass to be held at the Polish Chaplaincy in St. Audoen’s Church, Dublin 8 at 12.30pm tomorrow (Sunday).
President Mary McAleese has led tributes from politicians in Ireland, expressing her sympathy to the people of Poland on the death this morning of President Lech Kaczynski.
“I am deeply saddened to learn that a plane crash in Russia has led to the tragic death of President Lech Kaczynski, his wife Maria and scores of other passengers (including senior Polish Officials). This shocking news will cause immense sadness to the people of Poland to whom I convey my heartfelt sympathy and that of the Irish people."
"I am also acutely conscious that this tragedy will be particularly painful for the Polish community in Ireland as they come to terms with this terrible loss far from their native land. I had the honour of meeting President Kaczynski when he visited Ireland in February 2007 and we celebrated together the strong bonds of friendship which unite Ireland and Poland."
"The deep sadness being felt in Poland today is shared by many in Ireland who hold the Polish people in high regard and with great affection. At this time of trauma and bereavement, I extend to the family of President Kaczynski, the Polish Government and people my sincere condolences on their tragic loss.”
The Taoiseach has extended his deepest sympathy on behalf of the Government to the Polish prime minister Donald Tusk.
Mr Cowen said: 'On my own behalf, and on behalf of my Government, I wish to extend our sincere condolences to the Polish Government and the people of Poland for their huge loss arising from this terrible tragedy. Our thoughts and prayers are with them at very sad and difficult time.'
Fine Gael Foreign Affairs Spokesperson, Billy Timmins TD, said:
"On behalf of the Fine Gael Party, I am sending my sympathy to the Polish people on the death of their President in a tragic and traumatic plane crash which claimed the lives of Mr Kaczynski, his wife Maria and senior officials in his Government. "