Dublin prays for Paris

DCU student Brian Leader lights a candle in rememberance of the victoms of the Paris attacks outside the French Embassy in Ireland
DCU student Brian Leader lights a candle in rememberance of the victoms of the Paris attacks outside the French Embassy in Ireland

Six thousand people gathered in Dublin on Saturday to mourn the 129 Parisians killed in terrorist attacks.

Attendees expressed shock and were lost for words after Friday’s events.

ISIS claim their militants are responsible for the attack in which suicide bombers targeted a French Stadium and shooters opened fire during a concert, killing 129 people and injuring 350 more.

The French, known for their protest culture, maintained a sombre display as they marched quietly with Irish people from the Spire to Leinster House.

Some French nationals expressed the need to go home to Paris: “I was in a bar when it happened. I was with two French people and we saw the television,” a girl said.

“It’s good to be here with French people but I want to see my family and friends.”

Three teams of ISIS militants carried out coordinated attacks. Two suicide bombers detonated their vests outside of Stade de France in Paris’ 2nd district. Another detonated his vest at a McDonald’s near by. Three men later fired into the crowd of concert goers at the Bataclan theatre in the 11th district, while another targeted cafes and bars outside.

All seven men are dead, and several arrests have been made in Brussels, according to a statement made by French prosecutor François Molins.

“We’re all feeling what happened back home”, said one man. “I used to live close to where this happened. I’ve been out a lot at Bataclan. If it can happen here, it can happen anywhere.”

Only when they reached the gates of Leinster House, did they begin to sing their national anthem ‘La Marseillaise’.

Minister Alex White met marchers outside to express his solidarity.

“A great, democratic city being attacked in that way…it’s just beyond belief,” he told the CV.

“We understand from previous times in our country what terrorism means, and what the impact of terrorism can be.”

Asked if he thought that Ireland could see turmoil within the Muslim community like France has historically, he said:

“I don’t believe so, but the French president has said how much the government intends to stand firmly during attacks like this. His statement is one we can all stand by.”

The chief advisor to the French Ambassador, Philippe Ray, spoke to the CV about the action the embassy was taking.

“It could be the protection, for example, the schools. We have two French schools in south of Dublin…We have to reassure parents. After that of course, the embassy.

“We have to help the Irish who are in France. We are coordinating very strongly with the Irish embassy in Paris.”

Nearby, the French embassy on Fitzwilliam Ln. was adorned with candles and flowers as people clad in the tricolour flag stopped to remember those killed.

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Aura McMenamin

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