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President Michael D. Higgins First to Sign Book of Condolence for 28 GOAL Staff who Perished in Turkiye-Syria Earthquakes


February 15, 2023 • 1 min read

GOAL has opened an online Book of Condolence, inviting messages of sympathy for the aid agency’s staff who died in last week’s earthquakes in Türkiye and Syria, with President Michael D Higgins being the first to sign the Book. This comes nine days after the devastating earthquakes struck, taking the lives of over 41,000 people, including 28 GOAL staff members.

The scale of loss of our colleagues is one we have never experienced in our history and the depth of destruction is one never witnessed before in our Middle East operations. We have lost 28 dear colleagues; 26 colleagues from our programme in NW Syria and two colleagues from our programme in Türkiye,” says GOAL CEO, Siobhan Walsh.

They were true humanitarians and it is fitting that we recognize and pay tribute to their commitment to making a difference in our world. We do this by sharing important information about their lives and families.

Siobhan Walsh outlines how members of the public can share messages of sympathy for those lost.

We have opened a Book of Condolence and invite anyone to express words of sympathy, to show continued solidarity with our colleagues on the ground, their families and all of the communities in this region, whose lives have been devastated by this enormous tragedy. The GOAL family is truly a global one, which includes many former colleagues, friends and families, partners, and members of the public who are strong supporters of GOAL.

We will find the most fitting way to bring our global GOAL family together to mourn and pay tribute to our colleagues and most importantly to create a lasting memorial in their honour.

You can view and sign the Book of Condolence via