News Editorial

Monday 26 September 2016

Je suis Paris: we stand with the people of France

‘Paris. Paris outragé, Paris brisé, Paris martyrizé, mais Paris libéré’

Published 14/11/2015 | 12:14

A man holds a drawing depicting the French flag and carrying the words
A man holds a drawing depicting the French flag and carrying the words "I am Parisian"

Paris. An outraged Paris. A broken Paris. A martyred Paris. But a liberated Paris.

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The immortal words of General Charles de Gaulle following the liberation of Paris in August 1944 must be cherished in the wake of the coordinated terror attacks on the French capital last night.

Once again, in the space of a calendar year, Paris is the subject of the unwanted spot

In January, 12 people were killed after gunmen stormed the Paris offices of the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo.

On a night of terror in the City of Lights, over 160 people are dead. Six different locations were targeted by terrorists.

Addresses known to millions of tourists who have visited this marvellous capital city are now shrouded by the shadow of murder.

Eleven months after the Charlie Hebdo massacre and subsequent attacks, Paris is engulfed in chaos.

A hostage scenario in Bataclan Concert Hall left 120 dead, after a slaughter inside the building before police shot dead two gunmen.

And explosion near the Stade de France could be heard inside the stadium where an international football match between France and Germany were taking place.

It is believed this was a suicide bombing aimed at drawing the maximum number of deaths.

A separate suicide bombing was carried out around a minute later near the stadium in the north of Paris.

France has declared a state of emergency.

French President Francois Hollande mobilised all forces available to the Republic, invoking emergency powers and closing the borders.

President Hollande described the events as “terror attacks on an unprecedented level”.

Mr Hollande was at the stadium during the time of the explosion and had to be escorted away.

Capturing the sentiments of a nation, President Michael D Higgins said he was “shocked” to learn of and view the images of the terrible events unfolding in Paris.

“On behalf of the Irish people and on my own behalf I offer deepest sympathy through President Hollande to the people of France on this dreadful loss of life and appalling injuries.

“All of our thoughts are with the people of France as events unfold”.

Taoiseach Enda Kenny also expressed his shock at the events unfolding in France.

“Once again we are witnessing carnage on the streets of Paris. Again the capital is suffering at the hands of those who seek only to wreak havoc and destruction on civil society.

“My thoughts and those of all the Irish people are with the French people this evening.  As ever we stand as one with them and will never bend to the evil of terrorism.”

French police and security did their utmost to reduce the death toll and quell the terror threat with five gunmen killed.

In the coming days, the French people will mourn these shocking events and question whether their open society has allowed terrorists to grow from within.

The values extolled by France of liberté, egalité, fraternité ring through ever more.

The citizens of Paris and France deserve our solidarity. The terrorists cannot be allowed to win.

All those who believe in freedom must declare: ‘Je suis Paris.’

 

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