Wednesday 13 November 2019

Daniel McConnell: Phones taken off the hook, tapping of keyboards ceased for a stand of solidarity

Daniel McConnell

Phones taken off the hook,radios were turned off, the tapping of keyboards ceased.

Normally a place of high activity, the Independent newsroom this morning  fell silent.

Journalists, editors, senior managers and NUJ officials gathered this morning to pause.

Colleagues from the Irish Independent, the Herald, the Sunday Independent and Independent.ie stopped what they were doing and joined together to show our solidarity in opposition to what happened in France yesterday.

A minute’s silence for fallen colleagues at Charlie Hebdo, slaughtered in Paris twenty four hours earlier.

Such moments are rare and this morning’s show of solidarity had an extra sense of poignancy, as former murdered INM colleagues Veronica Guerin and Martin O’Hagan were also remembered.

Addressing those assembled, INM Editor in Chief Stephen Rae spoke of the importance of the minute’s silence in the face of the kind of savagery we were confronted with yesterday.

But the attack yesterday, which left 10 journalists and 2 police officers dead, was an attack on democracy, on freedom of expression and liberty.

Such freedoms many of us take for granted on daily basis.

It was a stark reminder of how fragile an ideal democracy is.

That  is why we stood together, in support of our colleagues who lost their lives, but also in support of that ideal.

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