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Minister Flanagan meets Dr. Tiede and Mrs Elisabeth Herrema, his wife, 40 years after kidnapping

Ireland, Northern Ireland Peace Process, Minister Charles Flanagan, Press Releases, Ireland, Northern Ireland, 2015

The Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, Charlie Flanagan TD, today (Friday) hosted a lunch in Iveagh House in honour of Dr. Tiede Herrema and his wife Mrs. Elisabeth Herrema, forty years after Dr. Herrema endured a horrific kidnapping ordeal at the hands of a breakaway IRA faction in Ireland.

Minister Flanagan praised Dr. Herrema’s courage and generosity of spirit, he stated:

“Dr. Herrema made a very important contribution to Ireland’s economy in the 1970s when he ran the Ferenka factory in Limerick in the 1970s, the biggest employer in the city at the time.

“He endured a terrifying kidnapping ordeal at the hands of a breakaway IRA faction in 1975 but dealt with this traumatic ordeal with incredible courage and fortitude, supported by his wife Elisabeth.

“I have vivid memories of the events as Dr. Herrema was held and eventually rescued from close to where I grew up in north Co. Laois. My own father was a Parliamentary Secretary at the time.

“I am delighted to be joined today by former Taoiseach, Liam Cosgrave, who led our country at that most difficult time when The Troubles were in a very dangerous phase. I am thankful that we have now emerged from that dark time.

“Dr. Tiede and Mrs. Herrema are a truly remarkable couple who survived an almost unimaginable ordeal and emerged from it even stronger and determined not to have their lives or their relationship with Ireland defined by the awful events of 1975.

“We have come a long way since then and I am delighted to have the opportunity of hosting Dr. Herrema and his wife Elisabeth today along with some of the many good friends they made during their time here in Ireland, along with the Ambassador of the Netherlands to Ireland, H.E. Mr. Paul Schellekens, and his wife Mrs. Maureen Schellekens.

“That they are here with us this week in Ireland is a credit to them and we are honoured to call them friends of Ireland and of the Irish people.”

9 OCTOBER 2015