Page last updated at 08:05 GMT, Wednesday, 20 January 2010

Tributes to Irish UN worked killed in Haiti quake

Andrew Grene
Andrew Grene was killed when the building he was in collapsed

Tributes have been paid to an Irish United Nations worker who died in the Haiti earthquake.

Andrew Grene - whose wife Jennifer is from County Down - was killed when the building he was in collapsed. His body was found on Tuesday.

Mr Grene, who was 44, was a special assistant to the head of the UN mission in Haiti.

Irish Foreign Affairs Minister Micheal Martin described the aid worker as a true humanitarian.

Andrew's brother said he was dedicated to the people of the country and his fellow UN workers.

"In the sense of the terrible loss that we're experiencing in the family I know that all of us feel for so many people in the UN," Nicholas Grene said.

"But also so many people in the country of Haiti that has been so horribly affected in the past and is experiencing this terrible devastation."


Mr Grene, who had dual Irish/US citizenship, was in a meeting with Hedi Annabi, the head of the UN, when the building in Port au Prince collapsed.

Mr Annabi's body was recovered from the rubble on Saturday.

Mr Grene's two sons, Patrick, 20, and Alex, 19, were born in Belfast and he also has a daughter, Rosamund, 14, who was born in Chicago.

Tens of thousands of people are living on the street after the earthquake and relying on each other to try to survive.

UN building Haitib
The UN building collapsed in the earthquake

The UN has launched an appeal for $562m (£346m) intended to help three million people for six months, most of whom are thought to need emergency relief.

Mr Grene was born in Chicago and grew up between the US and County Cavan, on a small farm outside Belturbet. His late father David Grene was a classics translator and professor at the University of Chicago. He was born in Donnybrook, Dublin.

His mother, Ethel May Weiss, is a doctor.

His half-brother Nicholas Grene is a professor of English at Trinity College Dublin. Mr Grene's twin brother Gregory is a founder member of US-based Celtic rock band The Prodigals.

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