Tuesday 20 November 2018

Je Suis Charlie: Thousands march in Dublin and Galway

Brian Byrne and Caroline Crawford

UP to 2,000 people have marched in Dublin in solidarity with the victims of the Paris massacre.

Crowds gathered at the Spire on O’Connell Street from midday, before a group of French school children led the silent march to Dail Eireann.

Demonstrators at the protest over the killings by islamic terrorists in Paris, in Cork yest.
Pic Michael Mac Sweeney/Provision
Demonstrators at the protest over the killings by islamic terrorists in Paris, in Cork yest. Pic Michael Mac Sweeney/Provision
Demonstrators at the protest over the killings by islamic terrorists in Paris, in Cork. Pic Michael Mac Sweeney/Provision
Demonstrators at the protest over the killings by islamic terrorists in Paris, in Cork Pic Michael Mac Sweeney/Provision
Members of the Public 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
Demonstrators at the protest over the killings by islamic terrorists in Paris, in Cork yest. Pic Michael Mac Sweeney/Provision
Demonstrators at the protest over the killings by islamic terrorists in Paris, in Cork yest. Pic Michael Mac Sweeney/Provision
Demonstrators at the protest over the killings by islamic terrorists in Paris, in Cork yest. Pic Michael Mac Sweeney/Provision
Demonstrators at the protest over the killings by islamic terrorists in Paris, in Cork yest. Pic Michael Mac Sweeney/Provision
Gwen Ferret originally from the South of France but living in UCD during a vigil march in Dublin's city centre Photo: Gareth Chaney Collins

Marchers held pens, French flags and posters aloft, many bearing the now ubiquitous phrase ‘Je Suis Charlie’.

Among those in attendance was French Ambassador to Ireland Jean-Pierre Thébault, who said such marches proved that the terrorists had “totally failed”.

“On behalf of the French people, to the Irish men and women, who in thousands who have sent their condolences, and who join us today in this moment of remembrance, I’d like to say one million, one billion thanks.

“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 testifies they totally failed.

“We will stand for freedom whenever it will be threatened. Thank you, it means a lot, to the youngers and the elders. We are fighting not only for our freedom today, but our freedom tomorrow.

“This is the heritage we want to leave for the future generations. It matters that so many children are present here as a symbol. We are Charlie.”

Meanwhile, more than 150 people gathered in Galway for a march.

Demonstrators at the protest over the killings by islamic terrorists in Paris, in Cork
Pic Michael Mac Sweeney/Provision
Demonstrators at the protest over the killings by islamic terrorists in Paris, in Cork Pic Michael Mac Sweeney/Provision
Demonstrators at the protest over the killings by islamic terrorists in Paris, in Cork Pic Michael Mac Sweeney/Provision
Stephen and Ann O'Byrne Demonstrators at the protest over the killings by islamic terrorists in Paris, in Cork Pic Michael Mac Sweeney/Provision
Demonstrators at the protest over the killings by islamic terrorists in Paris, in Cork yest. Pic Michael Mac Sweeney/Provision
Demonstrators at the protest over the killings by islamic terrorists in Paris, in Cork yest. Pic Michael Mac Sweeney/Provision
Demonstrators at the protest over the killings by islamic terrorists in Paris, in Cork Pic Michael Mac Sweeney/Provision

French emigrants were joined by newly arrived students and countless locals as they paid silent tribute to the victims.

Those gathered held up pens and posters stating Je suis Charlie. There were no speeches, just silence as they remembered the dead.

Celine Gien lives in Connemara with her husband Hervé Boinnard and daughter Realtín. They joined the vigil

“I am from Paris, we lived just a few hundred metres from the Charlie Hedbo offices. Watching what happened was very difficult when you are away from home.

“It was important for us as a family to come out today. I think it is really important to see people come together to stand against barbarity. I want my child to grow up in a democracy where she can live in peace,” she said.

Organiser Klervi Ily from Britany has lived in Galway for five years.

“I really felt injured by what happened. Not just as a French person but as a human being. I grew up with Charlie Hedbo, my father would always read it.

“I’m grateful so many people came out. We didn’t want speeches, there is nothing we could say about this. We just wanted solidarity,” she added.

There were vigils in other cities, including Cork.

More to follow

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