FOUR Irish construction workers, feared dead by their families in the World
Trade Center attack, turned up alive, although seriously injured, under different
names in a Manhattan hospital.
The four, all natives of Co Cavan in Ireland, were among the first evacuated
from the World Trade Center where they had been working under assumed names.
All four suffered concussions and "multiple injuries," including broken limbs
and head injuries but all are expected to survive.
Cavan Monaghan TD (Member of Parliament) Caomghin O Caolain of Sinn Fein, who
was asked by the families to intervene, confirmed to the Irish Voice
on Tuesday that the men had been found.
"You can imagine the relief of the families," he said. "They had suffered
through the worst days of their lives. It has been an unbelievably tough experience
O Caolain, who made exhaustive inquiries on the parents' behalf, finally succeeded
in locating the men in a Manhattan hospital with the help of the Irish government.
Earlier this week O Caolain had called on the INS to issue a statement that
they would not prosecute any undocumented who were caught up in the blast.
The INS subsequently did so, and the story of the men began to emerge. Because
the men are undocumented and also worked under false names, they greatly feared
There have been persistent reports in the Irish community about the men since
the World Trade Center blasts, though none substantiated until now.
As the Irish Voice reported last week, another undocumented Irish worker
using false identification who narrowly escaped with his life stated that he
saw many other Irish undocumented construction workers going up to a higher
floor on the morning that the blasts occurred.
While stressing that they may have all come down safely, he says he has no
information on their whereabouts.
Meanwhile, fears of INS consequences for illegals have been abated with a statement
from INS commissioner James Ziglar.
According to Ziglar, any employer who lost illegally employed workers in the
World Trade Center will not suffer government prosecution, nor will the workers
"All of us in the INS family have been deeply shocked and saddened by the terrible
loss of life and destruction in New York," he said.
"We are committed to supporting the rescue and recovery efforts taking
place at the World Trade Center.
"We have heard disturbing reports that some people whose loved ones are
missing have not come forward because of immigration issues. We cannot let that
"It is crucial that local authorities get the help they need in identifying
victims and the missing.
"I want to personally urge the immigrant community to come forward, and
assure everyone that INS will not seek immigration status information provided
to local authorities in the rescue and recovery efforts," said Ziglar.
Ann Marie Scanlon, director of development at the Emerald Isle Immigration
Center in Queens urged anyone who "has employed illegal workers to come
Similarly the Irish Consulate, worried about the reports of Irish illegals
missing has welcomed the statement from the INS.
According to the consulate, there are five members of the Irish community confirmed
dead and eight missing. There may be as many as 16 Irish Americans who hold
Irish citizenship also missing. But any final numbers are unavailable as yet.
Among those known to be missing is Joanne Cregan, from Churchtown in Dublin.
She was one of the hundreds of Cantor Fitzgerald employees on the 105th floor
of the North Tower.
Also missing is Charlie McCabe, from Roslea in Co. Fermanagh, a father of four
who has been living in the U.S. for more than 20 years and is still unaccounted
Irish-born John Moran was in the U.S. on business at the time of the attack
and so far, nothing has been heard of his whereabouts.
The body of Martin Coughlan, a carpenter from Cappawhite, Co. Tipperary, who
was working on the 96th floor of the South Tower when the second plane struck,
was found last week. He was buried in Bayside, Queens on Tuesday.
On the same day, the ashes of Ruth McCourt, who was killed on one of the hijacked
planes, were brought to Cork.
Meanwhile, Kieran Gorman from Sligo has been confirmed dead while Damian Meehan
and Bill Deane from Donegal, Ann Marie McHugh from Tuam and Sean Canavan from
Tyrone and Sean Connnors from Leitrim are all still listed as missing.
There were also several Irish-born people who worked in brokerage houses who
are on the missing list.