London-Irish man with first pictures from inside Grenfell: 'No words' for scenes of horror

By Amy Ryan

A London-Irish man who distributed the first photographs from inside Grenfell tower said "there are no words" to describe how he felt when he saw the pictures for the first time.

"The air is sucked out of you," he said.

Declan Wilkes, who was raised in Quilty, West Clare said that emotions are running high in London right now. He said "frustration, anger and grief" being felt by the families and the community.

"Things are quite surreal here. Londoners are tough though.

"It's a tight-knit area, everyone has a connection. There's so many questions and no answers," he said.

Mr Wilkes confirmed that he did not take the photographs. They were taken by a close friend who wishes to remain anonymous.

Mr Wilkes has been living in London for 10 years. After studying journalism in City University in London, he worked in media for several years before getting a communications job with a charity.

On the recent incidents that have hit London city, the 33-year-old said: "City life goes on but every siren and breaking news alert does result in a pause, and a momentary glaze casts over folks eyes as we sup our pints and exchange nervous glances."

"People from home [in Ireland] are worried, there are more calls and questions about where we are going at the weekend."

"But they know we have to live our lives," he added.

Click play to watch a gallery of the photos from inside Grenfell tower


 

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