How an Irish telecoms tycoon became Haiti's only hope of salvation

Posted in: Miscellaneous at 09/01/2011 21:06

On Tuesday, exactly one year after an earthquake levelled Port-au-Prince and more than 200,000 people were buried alive, the iconic Iron Market will reopen. But this isn't the work of the Haitian elite - it's all down to Denis O'Brien, CEO of a mobile-phone company

It is intended to rise like a phoenix of hope from the ashes and misery of Haiti's capital, Port-au-Prince. An embodiment of the Haitian people's decency and courage - part resignation, part defiance - in the wake of tribulation and calamity, apparently without end. The two towers and steel-girdered roofing of the Iron Market - the heart and pulse of Port-au-Prince - have risen again and will be opened this week, on 11 January.

The date is a haunted and poignant one: the eve of the anniversary of last year's earthquake, which buried and killed 200,000 people, and has left millions homeless and bereaved. And the suffering goes on - Haiti is currently suffering a cholera epidemic, which a medical report commissioned by the French government has now confirmed to have originated in a river next to a base housing the very UN troops mobilised to help them.

To read this report in The Observer in full, see:

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