Hundreds observe minute’s silence at French Embassy in Dublin

President Higgins signs book of condolence at embassy on Merrion Square

President Higgins and his wife Sabina attend the French Embassy in Dublin where they signed a Book of Condolences for the victims of the Paris attacks. A one minute silence was observed for the dead and injured. Video: Bryan O'Brien

 

A crowd of several hundred people gathered outside the French Embassy in Dublin on Monday morning for a minute’s silence in solidarity with the people of France after the terrorist atrocity.

The mood was subdued but resolute. In soft voices, they sang The Marseillaise, the national anthem of France, concluding after a moment’s hesitance with a round of applause and dispersing.

Inside the embassy on Merrion Square, President and Mrs Higgins signed the book of condolence at 11am. The embassy was also visited by Dr Muhammad Umar Al-Qadri, of the Al-Mustafa Islamic Centre, who laid a wreath in remembrance of the 129 people who died in Friday night’s attacks across Paris.

Across Ireland, flags were lowered on State buildings as a mark of respect and staff in many places of work also observed a minute’s silence.

Addressing the crowd outside the embassy, ambassador Jean-Pierre Thebault thanked the Irish nation for their solidarity. He referred to the people who died in Paris as “victims of freedom”.

“We are at this very moving moment to remember the victims of the attack in Paris. We remember in this minute of silence who they were, they represented 25 nationalities and three continents, representing also young and old women and men. The diversity of our nations.

“We feel as if we have lost members of our family,” he said.

The embassy has opened an online book of condolence. It may be accessed via the embassy’s website.