Taoiseach Enda Kenny has admitted “no defence can guarantee absolute safety” after last week’s terrorist attack in Nice which led to the deaths of 84 people.
The Fine Gael leader was speaking before an emotional Dáil minute’s silence in memory of those who died, and before the visit of French president François Hollande to Dublin tomorrow.
Speaking to the chamber during a 20 minute period of statements on the horrific scenes last Thursday, Mr Kenny said what happened follows Bataclan, Charlie Hebdo, and other bloody scenes, noting poignantly: “We have been here before.”
However, while insisting we “cannot allow ourselves to be cowed or beaten by terrorism”, he added “no defence can guarantee absolute safety”.
He said the “appalling” attacks were inflicted on people enjoying the “freedoms” of western Europe, and “celebrating the eternal ideals of France”.
Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin said he personally told France’s ambassador to Ireland Jean-Pierre Thebault last Friday Ireland “stands in solidarity with France”.
“France must not stop being France because of these attacks. Europe must not stop being Europe,” he said.
However, while similarly passing on his condolences alongside other parties, Independents4Change TD Mick Wallace said although the attack was a tragedy, Europe must acknowledge some of the anger behind it is due to wars waged by the west.
Greens leader Eamon Ryan said what happened again shows the distress apparent in the world. In a comment believed to reference 9/11, he said years on, “the bodies are still falling”.
© Irish Examiner Ltd. All rights reserved