Thursday 23 November 2017

'Appalling massacre of music lovers of different generations' - Irish politicians react to Las Vegas massacre

A pair of cowboy boots is shown in the street outside the concert venue after a mass shooting at a music festival on the Las Vegas StripY
A pair of cowboy boots is shown in the street outside the concert venue after a mass shooting at a music festival on the Las Vegas StripY

Kathy Armstrong

A massacre that killed at least 59 people and injured more than 500 others has been "shocked people all over the world", president Michael D Higgins has said.

Gunman Stephen Craig Paddock (64), of Mesquite, Nevada, opened fire from a hotel balcony at revellers who were at the Route 91 Harvest Festival.

President Higgins has led Irish tributes following the deadliest mass-shooting in US history.

He said: “The appalling massacre of music lovers of different generations, at a public event in Las Vegas will have shocked people all over the world. 

President Michael D Higgins. Photo: Collins Dublin, Gareth Chaney
President Michael D Higgins. Photo: Collins Dublin, Gareth Chaney

“On behalf of the people of Ireland, may I express my deepest sympathies to all those bereaved and affected by this brutal tragedy.

“Our thoughts in Ireland, and of the Irish in the United States, are with the people of Nevada and the United States at this tragic time.”

People hug and cry outside the Thomas & Mack Center after a mass shooting at the Route 91 Harvest country music festival on October 2, 2017 in Las Vegas, Nevada (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
People hug and cry outside the Thomas & Mack Center after a mass shooting at the Route 91 Harvest country music festival on October 2, 2017 in Las Vegas, Nevada (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
LAS VEGAS, NV - OCTOBER 01: People tend to the wounded outside the festival ground after an apparent shooting on October 1, 2017 in Las Vegas, Nevada. There are reports of an active shooter around the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino. (Photo by David Becker/Getty Images)
A pair of cowboy boots is shown in the street outside the concert venue after a mass shooting at a music festival on the Las Vegas StripY
Police vehicles block a street corner after a deadly shooting at a music festival (AP Photo/Ronda Churchill)
A woman sits on a curb at the scene of a shooting outside of a music festival along the Las Vegas Strip
Blurred image of heavily armed police officers running
LAS VEGAS, NV - OCTOBER 01 People run from the Route 91 Harvest country music festival after apparent gun fire was heard on October 1, 2017 in Las Vegas, Nevada. There are reports of an active shooter around the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino. (Photo by David Becker/Getty Images)
People react at gunshots heard at music festival in Las Vegas, U.S., October 1, 2017 in this picture obtained from social media. @RTBLECKvia REUTERS THIS IMAGE HAS BEEN SUPPLIED BY A THIRD PARTY. MANDATORY CREDIT.NO RESALES. NO ARCHIVES
Police officers advise people to take cover near the scene of a shooting near the Mandalay Bay resort and casino on the Las Vegas Strip, Sunday, Oct. 1, 2017, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/John Locher)
Las Vegas Shooting
Las Vegas Shooting
Las Vegas Shooting

Read More: 'I started loading bodies onto a truck... One of them looked like she was dead' - Witnesses share stories of Vegas attack

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar has also extended “condolences and sympathies” to the people affected by the Las Vegas shooting.

He said: “I think everyone is horrified by the attacks.”

“As things stand we are not aware of any Irish casualties or injuries. But obviously the Irish consulate in Las Vegas and also in San Francisco is keeping in touch and is available to assist if needed.”

Minister for Foreign Affairs Simon Coveney condemned the attack and said he doesn't believe that any Irish citizens were injured.

He said: "This was a savage and brutal attack targeting innocent festival-goers.

“I wish to express my heartfelt condolences and those of the Irish people to the families of the victims, those who were injured and to the people and the authorities of the United States on this tragic day.

“As of now, we have no indications to suggest that any Irish citizens have been affected.  I am conscious, however, that it will take time before all of the casualties are identified.

Foreign Affairs Minister Simon Coveney condemned the shootings at the Route 91 Harvest country music festival in Las Vegas
Foreign Affairs Minister Simon Coveney condemned the shootings at the Route 91 Harvest country music festival in Las Vegas

"My Department, through our Consulate General in San Francisco and the Honorary Consulate in Las Vegas, is continuing to monitor the situation."

Read More: Las Vegas atrocity: Suspect (64) killed himself in hotel room filled with 10 firearms after 58 people shot dead

Paddock was found dead in a room in the Mandalay Bay Hotel and Casino on Las Vegas Strip with as many as 10 firearms.

SWAT officers who stormed the gunman's room found that he had killed himself.

An FBI spokesman has confirmed that there is nothing to link the attack to any international terrorist organisation.

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