Kenny offers solidarity to French nation

Taoiseach Enda Kenny joined the worldwide condemnation of the attack in Paris, saying he was shocked and appalled.

“Our thoughts are above all with the victims and their families, but also with the people of Paris and of France,” he said.

“The murder of journalists and writers at their place of work is a direct attack on the basic values of freedom of speech and of tolerance.

“That this should have happened in a city and a country which for centuries have been leaders in the international struggle for human rights is a particular outrage. On behalf of the Irish Government, I offer our total solidarity and support to our French colleagues and friends as they work to capture the perpetrators and bring them to justice,” he said.

President Michael D Higgins said: “I am deeply saddened to learn of the shootings in Paris earlier today. I wish to express my sincerest condolences to the families of all those bereaved and affected by today’s tragedy, including the two police officers who lost their lives in the line of duty. All of our thoughts are with the people of France who have experienced such a dreadful and brutal tragedy and such an unjustifiable loss of innocent life.”

US President Barack Obama said in a statement: ``I strongly condemn the horrific shooting at the offices of Charlie Hebdo magazine that reportedly killed 12 people. Our thoughts and prayers are with the victims of this terrorist attack and the people of France at this difficult time.

“France is America’s oldest ally, and has stood shoulder to shoulder with the United States in the fight against terrorists who threaten our shared security and the world.

“We are in touch with French officials and I have directed my administration to provide any assistance needed to help bring these terrorists to justice,” he said.

European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker said he was “profoundly shocked’’ by the carnage.

“It is an intolerable act, a barbaric act that concerns us all, as humans, and as Europeans.

In a message on Twitter, the Mayor of Paris, Anne Hidalgo, said: “ All my compassion to these victims, martyrs of liberty and of the freedom of the press, a pillar of the Republic.

“In the name of Parisians, as well as myself personally, I assure the families and friends of my total solidarity. Our country, our city and our democracy are mourning this massacre.

The Union des Organisations Islamiques de France, which represents more than 250 Muslim organisations across France, has condemned the killings.

“Charlie Hebdo has just become the target of an appalling attack,” the group said in a French-language statement.

“The UOIF condemns, in the strongest possible terms, this criminal attack and these horrible murders.

British Prime Minister David Cameron described the murders of 12 people in Paris as “sickening” on Twitter: “We stand with the French people in the fight against terror and defending the freedom of the press.”

Journalists’ groups have expressed their outrage. The union Syndicat National des Journalistes said: “There is no word strong enough to express the sadness and the anger of the profession today. The massacre perpetrated against the editorial staff of Charlie Hebdo is a horror that strikes at us all.”

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