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Remembering Valerie Place

Concern Worldwide remembers Valerie Place, 20 years after her tragic death while working as a volunteer for us in Somalia.

On February 22, 1993, Valerie was killed while travelling in a convoy of vehicles that was ambushed on the road from Mogadishu to Baidoa.

Children in Mogadishu sit underneath a mural of the late Valerie Place. Photo: Concern Worldwide

Volunteer nurse

Valerie, a native of Walkinstown, Dublin, had worked as a staff nurse at St James’s Hospital before joining us as a volunteer in September 1992 at the height of the Somalia famine.

Shock at death

At the time of her death, Valerie was managing a feeding centre in Mogadishu. The tragedy was greeted with profound shock and sadness by all who knew her, particularly those who had the privilege of working with her in Somalia.

Tribute by Concern founder

The late Father Aengus Finucane paid tribute to Valerie by saying:

The short life of Valerie Place had its influence for good here in Ireland…in her home town and far beyond it…Her life had influence on those who were her colleagues and on the children on whom, as a Concern volunteer, she lavished her love in Somalia…We are not here to renew our sadness, but to thank God for giving us Valerie – a person we can remember with joy.

Commemorative mass

A special commemorative mass will be held for Valerie in St Paul’s church, Smithfield at 5pm on Saturday, 23 February to mark the 20th anniversary of her tragic death.