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Victoria Jullo age 10 taking part in the march in Dublin today with the French Ambassador is attending a march through the streets of Dublin, in solidarity with the victims of the Paris terror attacks. 11/1/2015

Victoria Jullo age 10 taking part in the march in Dublin today with the French Ambassador is attending a march through the streets of Dublin, in solidarity with the victims of the Paris terror attacks. 11/1/2015

People take part in a solidarity rally in Dublin's city centre, in memory of the victims of terror attacks in Paris, France, during the week.  PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Sunday January 11, 2015. Photo credit should read: Brian Lawless/PA Wire

People take part in a solidarity rally in Dublin's city centre, in memory of the victims of terror attacks in Paris, France, during the week. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Sunday January 11, 2015. Photo credit should read: Brian Lawless/PA Wire

dublin marchers

dublin marchers

11/01/2015 Gwen Ferret orignally from the South of France but living in UCD during a vigil march in Dublin's city centre for people killed in a shooting at the Paris offices of French satirical weekly magazine Charlie Hebdo. Photo:  Gareth Chaney Collins

11/01/2015 Gwen Ferret orignally from the South of France but living in UCD during a vigil march in Dublin's city centre for people killed in a shooting at the Paris offices of French satirical weekly magazine Charlie Hebdo. Photo: Gareth Chaney Collins

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Victoria Jullo age 10 taking part in the march in Dublin today with the French Ambassador is attending a march through the streets of Dublin, in solidarity with the victims of the Paris terror attacks. 11/1/2015

Generally La Marseillaise is only heard in Dublin when a marauding French team are playing their hosts in the Aviva stadium.

But yesterday thousands of Dubliners joined in as French emigrants aired a most defiant rendition of their national anthem.

Up to 2,000 people marched across the capital in solidarity with the 17 people who lost their lives in the Paris massacre, and the millions they left behind.

The honour of leading the procession was given to a dozen French schoolchildren, who brought the masses from the Spire on O'Connell Street to Dail Eireann.

But where other protests try to fill the streets with their rhythmic chants, here the throng walked in absolute silence.

In place of noise they simply held aloft pens and pencils, French flags and posters, many bearing the phrase Je Suis Charlie, now ubiquitous with ideals of press and personal freedom.

The silence remained unbroken until the marchers reached Kildare Street, where La Marseillaise was sung in such a fashion that it succeeded in raising the hair on the necks of every bystander.

Mother-of-three Gaelle Humbert led the march alongside the group of young students from Dublin's Lycee Francais d'Irlande.

She said they were marching "to defend our freedom and the freedom to express ourselves without violence".

Ms Humbert said that students at the school had not been protected from the reality of the gruelling killings.

"It has been explained in class. We had to explain and talk to them about the violence they had seen on TV.

"So we explained that whatever people think about pictures or drawings, nobody should be killed for that. We have to demonstrate that today," she explained.

French Ambassador to Ireland Jean-Pierre Thebault said the presence of children at the march was a "symbol" that "we are fighting not only for our freedom today, but our freedom tomorrow".

FREEDOM

As the procession came to a stop outside the gates of Leinster House, with echoes of the French national anthem still being sung in pockets of the crowd behind him, Mr Thebault declared: "We are Charlie."

"We are all united for freedom, and are united in remembering those journalists who lost their lives in the name of freedom, for France, but also for Ireland and the world.

"The terrorists wanted to defeat us by making us fear. The hundreds, probably thousands of people present today in the streets testify they totally failed," he said.

hnews@herald.ie


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