• Sweden's news in English
 
Irishman seeks to honour Swedish victims of deadly 1972 Greece fire
A newspaper clipping from a local newspaper after the fire, and the obituary notice of Theresa O'Shaughnessy

Irishman seeks to honour Swedish victims of deadly 1972 Greece fire

Published: 20 Feb 2014 16:25 GMT+01:00

 
In late September, 1972, the Oscar restaurant on the Greek island of Rhodes burned to the ground. A faulty electrical system and highly flammable bamboo walls meant the building was torched within minutes.
 
Among the 33 dead patrons were over 20 Scandinavian tourists from Sweden and Denmark. Together with three Greeks and two other Irish tourists, 36-year-old Irish woman Theresa O'Shaughnessy also perished. 
 
Over 40 years on, O'Shaughnessy's relatives made a recent trip from Limerick to Rhodes to pay their respects, but were astonished to find that there was no memorial at the scene of the fire.
 
"We were shocked and saddened to see there was no memorial to all of these victims," O'Shaughnessy's 45-year-old nephew Pádraig Power told The Local. "This was a tragedy on massive proportion and there should be some mark of respect to these victims."
 
Power is now on the hunt for relatives of the Swedes and the Danes who perished in the blaze to get their blessing and support in making a memorial - even if it's just a plaque on the wall of the jewellers that now stands in the place of the restaurant.
 
But, despite the backing of Ireland's Foreign Ministry, the search is going slowly. Power has had no luck finding a single relative of the deceased Swedes. The Local's efforts to get help from the Sweden's Foreign Ministry also proved fruitless. 
 
"Even if I could find the information, I can't share it," a spokesman said.
 
Power is now taking it upon himself to get the ball rolling and to jog the Swedish public's memory. And what's more, he doesn't have much time. 
 
"This is really important to me personally because my mother is 84 and we've been speaking about it recently. If my mother passes on..." he said before drifting off into silence. 
 
"It's been over 41 years, but it's still a sensitive subject. My grandfather died a few years after the incident of a broken heart. My aunt was the youngest in the family. We hope to have a memorial erected while my mother and her siblings are still with us," he explained. 
 
Power's aunt was so badly burnt in the fire that she was unidentifiable, even through dental records.
 
"To be honest with you, we don't even know if her body came back. It was more of a process of elimination with the help of a woman from Dublin who had been with them that night. She managed to jump out the window and escape with only broken bones."
 
Now, Power can only wait and see if the Swedes will answer the call to help. 
 
"If any of the Swedish families feel the same same sense of loss as we do, we'd love for them to come forward to help the cause," he said.
 
The Irish Foreign Ministry has already sent a letter to the mayor of Rhodes, while Power and his family hope the Swedes and the Swedish government proves to feel as passionately about the matter. 
 
"I personally would feel that it would be a failure in our quest if everybody didn't get a mention in the memorial," he told The Local. "This is still emotional, even though it's been such a long time. We want them remembered, that's all."
 

Oliver Gee (oliver.gee@thelocal.se)

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Hoho: Estelle records cute Christmas message
Princess Estelle pictured in her 2014 Christmas jumper. Photo: Kate Gabor/royalcourt.se

Hoho: Estelle records cute Christmas message

Video: Sweden's little Princess Estelle has got into the spirit of Christmas by recording a special message together with her parents. READ  

Swedes over-estimate English abilities: expert
BP chairman Carl-Henric Svanberg suffers a linguistic let-down at The White House in 2010. File photo: TT

Swedes over-estimate English abilities: expert

Swedes enjoy a high level of self-confidence with regard to their English abilities, a new survey has shown, although one expert has questioned whether this belief is misplaced. READ  

Sweden seeks ban on foreign booze advertising
File photo: Shutterstock.

Sweden seeks ban on foreign booze advertising

Two powerful Swedish lobby groups have turned to the European Commission to try and get a complete ban on alcohol advertising on television, after it emerged some channels were dodging the ban by being registered abroad. READ  

Minecraft creator beats Beyonce in mansion bid
Markus Persson created hit game Minecraft. Photo: TT

Minecraft creator beats Beyonce in mansion bid

UPDATED: Swedish billionaire Markus Persson is reported to have outbid the likes of Jay-Z and Beyonce with his half billion kronor offer ($70 million) for a 2,000-square-metre Beverly Hills mansion. READ  

Accelerated for Ice Music
Ice Music taps Texas troubadour for new tunes
A scene from a 2014 Ice Music concert in Luleå. Photo: Graeme Richardson/Swedish Lapland

Ice Music taps Texas troubadour for new tunes

The world's "coolest concert" is set for a Texas twist in 2015 when Luleå's innovative Ice Music welcomes American musical talent from Austin, home of the South By Southwest (SXSW) music festival. READ  

Second baby on the way for Princess Madeleine
Princess Madeleine at the previous Nobel banquet. Photo: TT

Second baby on the way for Princess Madeleine

UPDATED: Sweden's Royal Court has announced that Princess Madeleine is pregnant with the second child of her financier husband Chris O'Neill. READ  

Video
Video: The best & worst of Swedish Christmas
Tom says he is a big fan of the food. Photo: The Local

Video: The best & worst of Swedish Christmas

What's the best thing about Christmas in Sweden? The worst? And perhaps most importantly, the tastiest? The Local's Paul O'Mahony hits the Old Town's Christmas market as the first snow of the season falls to find out more. READ  

Swedish 'butcher' murderer gets 16 years
Forensic experts examine the scene where the victim's body was dumped in Askersund. Photo: Pavel Koubek/TT

Swedish 'butcher' murderer gets 16 years

A Swedish woman who killed and then hacked up a female love rival has been sentenced to 16 years in prison and also ordered to pay damages to the victim's family. READ  

Bildt works as babysitter on Swedish reality show
Carl Bildt. Photo: Sergei Chuzavkov/AP

Bildt works as babysitter on Swedish reality show

Former Swedish Foreign Minister Carl Bildt has been given a cautious thumbs up for his child-minding abilities after appearing on a Swedish Celebrity Babysitter show. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Lifestyle
What's On in Sweden: December 18th to 25th
National
'Unprecedented' Russian activity: Armed Forces
Society
Interview: The Local chats with Melinda Gates
Society
VIDEO: Stockholmers try out some Swedish tongue twisters
Society
Eight things to do when it gets dark in Umeå
Blog updates

19 December

-t or no -t? (The Swedish Teacher) »

"Hej! There are many things in the Swedish language that can give you a grey hair or two,..." READ »

 

19 December

Editor’s Blog, December 19th (The Local Sweden) »

"Hello readers, Father Time has taken another week from us, but never fear – good old Father..." READ »

 
 
 
National
Inside Sweden's first 'light therapy' school
Finest.se
Gallery
People-watching: December 17th
Estelle through the years
Gallery
Princess Estelle through the years
Society
Why are there so many 100-year-olds in one Swedish town?
Society
Is it time to better celebrate Sweden's diverse identity?
Gallery
Property of the week: Huddinge
National
Why has The Local got a new logo?
National
CATCH UP: Russian plane in Baltic near-miss drama
Lifestyle
How my compass drew me to Sweden
National
The man whose memory you need to remember
Gallery
People-watching: December 13th - 14th
Sponsored Article
How to get your own office anywhere in the world
Politics
'Our party will stand alone': Stefan Löfven
Society
The Local chats to Ruben Östlund, director of Golden Globe nominated Force Majeure
Lifestyle
Ten things to know before a Swedish party
Lifestyle
What's On in Sweden: December 12th to 19th
Gallery
IN PICTURES: The 2014 Nobel Banquet
National
The Local's guide to the Nobel Prizes 2014
Education
Introducing... Education in Stockholm
Society
The Swedish Christmas market with a twist
Lifestyle
Why do so many Swedes have tattoos?
Society
Get 20% off Swedish Christmas decorations
National
Dewani family: We only heard half the story
Business & Money
Business in Stockholm: 'efficiency is money'
Gallery
Property of the week: Östermalm
National
Meet the Swedes hosting festive feasts for 'lonely' guests
Gallery
TIMELINE: Swedish honeymoon killing murder trial
Gallery
People-watching: December 7th
Gallery
IN PICTURES: What's it like to fly planes in Sweden?
National
Submarine hunters 'robbed' of reward cash
National
The Local's Countdown to Christmas
National
'Dangerous' USB charger recalled in Sweden
Gallery
IN PICTURES: Sweden's King and Queen wrap up France tour
National
Analysis: Should Snowden get asylum in Sweden?
National
Swedish schoolboy in female saint role row
Gallery
IN PICTURES: Sweden's political crisis unfolds
Gallery
People-watching: December 3rd
National
What happened to Sweden's ice bucket cash?
Lifestyle
Top Swedish songs of the month
Sponsored Article
SIS: the thinking behind globalised learning
Sponsored Article
Introducing... Family life in Stockholm
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Germany

More news from Germany at thelocal.de

Latest news from The Local in Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

827
jobs available
PSD Media
PSD Media is marketing company that offers innovative solutions for online retailers. We provide modern solutions that help increase traffic and raise conversion. Visit our site at:
psdmedia.se
The Local Spain is hiring!
The Local is seeking a new editor for our site in Spain to join our growing team of internationally-minded, driven, ambitious and clued-up journalists.
Details and how to apply
Counselling and Psychotherapy in English
Sometimes living in another culture can cause stress, confusion and feelings of sadness and loneliness. Talking to a professional psychotherapist/counsellor might help you. I am a UKCP Reg. psychotherapist. My practice is in Södermalm, Stockholm.
Contact me to discuss your options