9/11 ‘still raw’ for Cork family who lost so much

9/11 ‘still raw’ for Cork family who lost so much

Ruth Clifford McCourt, 45, and her four-year-old daughter Juliana who died on board a plane that crashed into the World Trade Centre on September 11, 2001. 

THE Corkman who survived the 9/11 attack on the Twin Towers in New York which killed his sister and niece says the incident is still very raw 20 years on.

Ron Clifford was speaking to The Echo ahead of the 20th anniversary of the terror attack today.

He was in one of the towers of the World Trade Center in New York when one of the planes crashed into it on September 11, 2001.

He did not know until later that the other plane was carrying his sister, 45-year-old Ruth McCourt, and her four-year-old daughter Juliana.

Today, Cork-based members of the Clifford family, as well as their friends, will gather for a private ceremony in St Finbarr’s cemetery, where Ruth and Juliana are buried.

Ron said: “It is hard to even think about it now. It is still raw.”

He added: “You wish that Ruth and Juliana were still here. David [Ruth’s husband] is gone now too and that family is now all gone.”

The plane which crashed into the tower he was in was carrying Ruth’s best friend, Paige Farley Hackel. She had planned to link up with Ruth and Juliana when their flights arrived in California. They had been planning to visit Disneyworld during the trip.

Ron had been attending a meeting at the World Trade Center when the terror attack occurred. He went to the assistance of a woman who was badly injured in the attack, who later died.

Ron said he feels completely overwhelmed by the 20th anniversary and is thankful for the many good wishes he has received from people across the world ahead of it.

He was interviewed last year for a documentary series by National Geographic with survivors of the 9/11 terrorist attack. He does not plan to watch it but says it will be important for generations to come.

The series, 9/11: One Day In America, aired from Sunday on National Geographic, with episodes now available on Hulu.

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