French attacks ‘an assault on basic value of freedom’

Taoiseach Enda Kenny has said the attacks in Paris last week were an assault not only on the people of Europe but also on people’s basic values of freedom and democracy.

His comments came as political leaders in the Dáil gave statements on the terrorist atrocities and Ireland’s position on related security issues.

Mr Kenny said this week’s ‘Je Suis Charlie’ rally in Paris was a display of unity and a rejection of the use of terror in the pursuit of political or religious goals.

“Europe and the world stood united and without fear in our opposition to terrorism.”

Mr Kenny said European nations needed to remain vigilant but sanguine and tackle the underlying causes as well as prevention of radicalism.

Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin said the thousands that marched in Dublin, Cork and Galway after the 17 killings gave testimony to Ireland’s solidarity with the people of France and the families of the victims.

“There is no possible justification or even mitigating factor behind these killings. They are the work of people who can only be described as evil. As we can see from the grotesque vision of society imposed in the areas under the control of ISIS, they are opposed not just to freedom of speech but to even basic concepts of liberty,” he said.

Mr Martin said there were 1.8 billion Muslims around the world and the extreme fundamentalists did not represent them.

Sinn Féin leader Gerry Adams said Irish people had watched in horror as the brutal events unfolded in Paris. But he also pointed out that other terrorist atrocities had received relatively little coverage compared to the attacks on French soil.

“Sadly, the mass slaughter of perhaps 2,000 men, women and children in northern Nigeria by Boko Haram attracted little mainstream media attention,” he noted.

Justice Minister Frances Fitzgerald briefed her Cabinet colleagues yesterday on security issues here arising from the Paris attacks

Ms Fitzgerald said there was no specific information to say there was a threat to Ireland.


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