Monday 16 January 2017

This isn't just happening to France - it's happening to Ireland too

It's easy to sit on the sidelines and speak of solidarity, but all Europe is under this terror threat

Published 17/07/2016 | 02:30

'It has become a cliche to say we stand in solidarity with the French. With each new attack to which they are subjected, we stand in solidarity, but from a safe distance, safe in the knowledge it is happening elsewhere. It’s not.' File photo: AP
'It has become a cliche to say we stand in solidarity with the French. With each new attack to which they are subjected, we stand in solidarity, but from a safe distance, safe in the knowledge it is happening elsewhere. It’s not.' File photo: AP

This is not something that is happening to them. It is happening to all of us. We are all Nice. France is not, in truth, another country. France is the Europe of which we are a part.

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Remember again all the Irish voices you heard over the last few days. Practically everyone knew someone or knew of someone who was in Nice. They go there for the glamour, the faded decadence, the grandiosity, its history as a playground for the rich, the famous, the debauched. They go there for sensual pleasure and to celebrate life. They go for all the things that make Nice precisely the kind of place that radical Islam hates.

But somehow it is easy for us to stroke our chins and ponder whether this is France's chickens coming home to roost. We even balk at calling it terrorism. If some people here had their say, we would not be discussing terrorism this weekend but mental health or marriage breakdown. Perhaps it would take a lorry driven up Grafton Street killing children to get us to take this seriously.

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