The murder of Sir David Amess was “an attack on democracy,” the Taoiseach has said as a minute’s silence was held in the Dáil this afternoon.
TDs stood with bowed heads today memory of the late Conservative MP who was stabbed multiple times on Friday in Southend-on-Sea while holding a surgery for constituents.
“Holding clinics is something that we as elected representatives do, as part of our public service to the communities we serve,” Micheál Martin said.
“Face-to-face interaction with constituents is what makes our job worthwhile and fruitful,” he added. “It's a crucial part of our democracy. and we should do our utmost to protect, to continue it”.
Mr Martin said he was struck at how all members of Westminster spoke so highly and kindly about the slain MP, and he had he had been exceptionally decent and hardworking.
“One cannot but be moved by the extraordinary expressions of solidarity and friendship,” he said.
He expressed condolences to Mr Amess’s wife Julia, daughters, family and friends.
Sinn Féin leader Mary Lou McDonald said she wished to add her voice and that of her party in sympathy.
It was a very traumatic and sudden loss, she said, and she hoped the well wishes from across the world brought some small comfort.
The job of public representation is “all about people,” she added. “It's all about being up close, and sometimes very personal with people.”
The loss of Mr Amess had therefore sent a shockwave “through not just the British system but internationally,” she said.
Ged Nash TD, on behalf of the Labour Party, express sincerest condolences to the Amess family and to all his colleagues.
“When I heard this last Friday, my immediate thought was it could have been any of us, at any time,” he said.
“When Sir David was attacked last Friday, most of us were doing the very same thing,” he added. “He was representing and serving constituents, and many of us were holding our regular Friday clinics.”
The killing also recalled “the brutal murder of our UK Labour colleague Jo Cox, which was five short years ago,” he said.
“No public representative should ever have to die like this,” he said.
Members stood in silence as a mark of respect.