Thursday 29 September 2016

'We must not allow them to establish fear' - Higgins

Robin Schiller

Published 24/03/2016 | 02:30

President Michael D Higgins and his wife Sabina at the Belgian Embassy in Ballsbridge, Dublin, yesterday, as they signed the book of condolences for the victims of the Brussels attacks, which he condemned as ‘terrible’ and ‘cowardly’. Photo: Colin Keegan
President Michael D Higgins and his wife Sabina at the Belgian Embassy in Ballsbridge, Dublin, yesterday, as they signed the book of condolences for the victims of the Brussels attacks, which he condemned as ‘terrible’ and ‘cowardly’. Photo: Colin Keegan

Michael D Higgins has described the Brussels terror attacks as "an incredible blow" to civilisation, but urged people not to allow these acts "to establish fear".

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The President said Tuesday's attacks were "terrible and cowardly", and sent his "greatest good wishes" to the people of Belgium and the Irish communities living there.

"We have a long-standing connection with the people of Belgium. We have a close connection with all of the institutions of the European Union. Many Irish people working in different capacities have made their lives there, reared their children in Belgium.

"My thoughts are with them, I certainly offer them all the solidarity that will be of assistance to them," he said.

Mr Higgins was speaking at the Belgian Embassy in Dublin yesterday morning, where he opened a book of condolences for the victims of the Brussels tragedies.

Accompanied by his wife Sabina, the President stood for a minute's silence alongside the French Ambassador Jean-Pierre Thebault and Deputy of Mission at the Belgian Embassy, Agnes Scheers.

Discussing the impact of terror attacks, President Higgins said "150 years of tyranny will tell you these acts are desperate and hopeless, as well as useless".

He added that such acts "create such fear as always creates capacity for reaction".

"These actions are terrible and cowardly actions, and the price is being paid by civilians. We must not allow them to establish fear, which is their purpose," said Mr Higgins.

Irish Independent

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